Community Outreach Adventure Trail
Outreach programs are schemes to find people most particularly indigent ones whom eager philanthropists or people with humanitarian mission can extend selfless help or volunteer their precious time and effort to simply give back to the less fortunate ones. It can also be considered as volunteering works. Outreach programs or volunteering works may vary in terms of time element and kind of activity or project. There are considered short-term and long-term period which most likely happens in far off countries wherein you are going to sign up with a certain volunteer abroad organization to plan your volunteer program/project and trip.
In the case of the cause which I participated, it is not categorized as short-term or long-term as it only lasted for a day, but it’s the same gratified feeling that you can get out of extending your helping hand to a certain community which is experiencing “insufficient” ( i just don’t like the idea of considering them “poor”) supply of basic commodities such as electricity, water and food because it is being located in the outskirts of the town.
Candolonon is one of the mountain baranggays located in Argao, Cebu, Philippines the southern part of Cebu province. It is located approximately about 10 kilometers (more or less) from the highway. There are only two means of transportation accessible to the place due to narrow roads and steep hills. You can arrived there by way of foot (walking will take for around 1 & 1/2 hour) or a public utility motorcycle that will charge $1-2 as fare rate. My idea of participating in this community outreach activity set by Ronald Marzon, my former grade school classmate sparked up when I had the chance to work as a volunteer abroad blog writer. I believe in the saying that says good timing has its way of surprising someone. Yes, because the moment I feel the need to put into practice my volunteering abroad learning, I happened to stumble upon Ronald’s Facebook account and discovered he’s on for an outreach mission.
Though I know it’s not gonna be a distant country that I am going to volunteer but at least it is part of the ways on achieving a successful volunteer abroad mission – starting a volunteering endeavor in ones local community. Without any hesitations, I contacted my friend and asked if it’s open for participants and how can I contribute to help. And since I am one of his trusted friend ever since the world begun , so I am cordially welcome. Then I learned that, he will be needing more used clothing and a little amount for the “flavor-of-the-road ice cream” and the rest like toys and food are already set as he has a former Japanese student who sent and mailed a package filled with goods and stuffs for children. And since God, the giver and provider of all blessed me with a perfect job that fared me well, I thought it’s about time to give back something to the world. 😉 By the way, Ronald Marzon is working as an ESL teacher in one of the renown universities in Cebu City. I also learned that some of his fellow teachers will join in the program along with other two Japanese students.
So my most awaited date has come. My date with charity as I’ve describe in my previous post. And because I have two sons who are always keep tracking and sneaking on the business of their mom, it’s expected that I also have my own buddy guards. The feeling of excitement had been enveloping my system since that day Ronald said yes to my plea. It seems I can’t wait for the day – the very first day to put my new endeavor and learning into practice. Oh well, I also want to thank Odesk for these, for without them there can be no in depth knowledge and enthusiasm for volunteering and as well as the little amount to go with the children’s happiness. Ronald laid the idea of bringing ice cream and balloons since these are stuffs well loved by children in the urban mainstream but are infrequently tasted and seen or played by children in the remote mountain baranggays.
The night before the said date, I already sorted out some unwanted clothes in my closet. Some of them from my kids, some mine which I can’t wear already since I trimmed down and some are slightly used clothes of my brothers who are both working already in the city. I should have packed the clothes individually, but since I’m not familiar of the locals living there, I opted to the idea of packing them all in one box and entrust it to somebody there who will take charge of segregating and distributing. Excitement does not keep me from falling asleep, I worried for my online tasks to get pending on the following day because of the activity. So, for my better end, I decided to accomplish my tasks and render over time. But I didn’t mind if I’ll go sleepless and stressed on the day of the outreach program, the thought and excitement about extending a helping heart and hand keep my awakening senses. I successfully finished my assignment at around 3 am and realized I got only 3 hours to sleep as I have to wake up early by 6 am.
I awoke by the sound of my mobile phone’s alarm. It’s December 14, 2013, today’s the day. My first big day has finally come. The opening salvo of my volunteering endeavor. Hey, you might be thinking that I am rich and living life in luxury. No, I am not. As a matter of fact I’m just a mother earning an average income to supplement my husband’s earning for our kids welfare. I just have a willing heart to give in any way I can. Everybody can take their part to volunteer regardless of their status in life just as long as they have the drive and passion to pursue it. So without any further ado, allow me to take you to a trip of your lifetime. First we have to meet and greet the place of our very first volunteering endeavor. The place that will make history in the life of a Jill. 😉