I have finished my two week volunteer work with the GVN program in the Philippines. I plan to continue my support to this program in the Philippines with financial support and hopefully return to the Philippines again. If anyone reading this is considering becoming a volunteer, don't hesitate, become a volunteer, you will never regret it!!
Matt | Philippines Volunteer
I worked at a Day-care placement in the mornings and elementary in the afternoons. However, due to my fundraising, I was in a position to run community projects as well including installation of 7 water pumps, roof repairs at local school, CR installation and the clean-up of a playground area.
Noelle | Philippines Volunteer
Just Choose a Project and Apply!
Once you arrive on the island of Tablas you will live with and be integrated into the lives of local families, sharing their food and way of life in Romblon Province. Volunteers will likely have rooms of their own (these will be shared if the program is busy) although homes are spartan in keeping with the average Filipino family's lifestyle. Joining in local festivities and visiting neighbouring islands are highlights for many volunteers.
Volunteers are provided with three meals per day/ 7 days per week. Common to the local cuisine are a variety of meat and seafood dishes. Filipinos like to eat rice, which volunteers are likely to find on their plates for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rice is generally accompanied with meat, fish and/or vegetables. Salt bread (pan de sal) with coffee is a common substitute at breakfast.
School Building Maintenance
Do you want to help a community keep its school in great shape? Volunteers will participate in the School Building Maintenance program on Tablas Island in Romblon Province. If you choose this option your time will be spent repairing school buildings, painting roofs, walls, chalkboards, desks, teaching aids, and other equipment. Volunteers may also help in the installation of water pumps, or help with the setting up/ building of a library.
Are you a natural with kids? Want to help them get a great start in life? Volunteers are needed to help in Childcare Centres with children aged 3 to 5 in Romblon Province. You will work alongside the staff at the Centres to help with classroom teaching, basic childcare duties, and the daily running of the Daycare Centres. Volunteers will teach the alphabet and basic concepts like colours, shapes, sizes, days of the week. Volunteers are also encouraged to organize subjects of interest such as art and crafts, dance, music, sports or games. This program is suitable for a caring, motivated and self-directed person who has a love for children and experience with childcare. This program is not available during April and May due to school holidays (If applying for a March start date, please ensure your time does not run over into the closed period) .
Do you want to make a lasting impact on students who are hungry to learn? Are you happy to stand in front of a class and share your knowledge? Then you can help students in need. Due to the lack of teachers in the rural Philippines, children are struggling to get quality education. Volunteers are needed to teach elementary and high school students in public schools in Romblon Province. Subjects taught include English, maths, science, health, and basic computer skills (only in schools where computers are available). Volunteers have the chance to teach on their own, but there will be a local teacher available to assist if needed. This role is suitable for a caring, motivated, and self-directed person. A teaching qualification is not required but volunteers need to be confident in the above subjects and preferably have or be studying towards a university degree. This program is not available during April and May (If applying for a March start date, please ensure your time does not run over into the closed period).
Our vision is to connect people with communities in need, with a particular focus on vulnerable women and children. We do this by supporting the work of local community organizations in countries through the placement of international volunteers.
We are excited to get your placement under way where you will:
Be a part of GVN's efforts to inspire learning, innovation and action to unlock the potential of vulnerable communities around the world. Work with exceptional grassroots projects in community development, conservation and wildlife, personal development, fundraising and physical challenges.
Have the 24/7 support of a non profit with 12 years experience in placing 19517 volunteers that will provide you with an affordable and rewarding placement.
Volunteer with a world-class organization which is recommended by Bill Gates and CNN.
Be a part of progressive non profit that has raised over $2 million to help women and children in need.
Have the comfort of knowing that GVN staff have collectively flown over 1 million miles to ensure you get a quality placement.
Make a long-term impact in your community of choice - it's not just a vacation.
How GVN works...
The first step is to fill out an application to see if we have a place for you. Then if your application is successful you will be accepted and we will then get to work organizing your placement.
GVN is a registered Charitable Trust, so volunteers finance themselves, or can fundraise online with our unique GVN platform, with US donors receiving tax receipts. The Program Package provides you with all that is listed below, along with personalized support from our expert staff and the knowledge that you'll be working with a reputable and registered charity with over 12 years experience in the field.
At the heart of our work is the communities our volunteers work to support - we ensure that these communities truly benefit from your time in Philippines and that the Program Package fully supports you financially while you're volunteering.
The Program Package also includes a project donation, which supports the work the GVN Foundation does in addressing nutrition, education and healthcare needs, as well as supporting longer-term development approaches, including income generation activities and microfinance.
Your program package includes:
Personal support from your Program Specialist throughout the preparation process.
Your Program Guide, with all the details on Philippines and your placement.
Fundraising strategies and access to our crowd funding platform where you can raise up to 100% of the cost your trip, with tax receipts for your US based donors.
Access to Your Own Online Journal: which helps you to communicate effectively and easily with your family and friends back home.
Opportunities for Preferred Pricing and Personalized Service when booking Airfares: through our travel partner GYT Flight Centre who go the extra mile to support GVN volunteers.
Accommodation: Home stay.
Meals: 3 meals daily.
Airport pickup: On arrival date.
Training: In-country orientation and training.
Supervision: In-country staff supervision.
Support: Pre-departure personal support from your volunteer coordinator, 24/7 in-country support from partner, and 24hr emergency line.
An opportunity to debrief and provide feedback
Free access to GVN Changemakers program which alerts you to future internship/job opportunities at GVN.
A Letter of Completion in Volunteer Service.
The opportunity to stay connected with your project.
Global advocacy and fundraising campaigns to continue your part of the movement for social change with an international non-profit that has granted over $2 million to our partner organizations.
The program package does not include: Flights, insurance, visas, vaccinations, transport to projects if necessary, departure from the program.
We recommend you allow a weekly budget of US $35 for your other expenses such as bottled water, personal items, beverages, and entertainment.
Your Program Package
Calculate the price of your individualised program package. Longer prices may be available on request.
Select A Project
Then: Select A Length
Your Program Package
For those securing far enough in advance, there is a possible US$300 discount. Confirming your placement early on allows us and our partner communities the ability to plan in advance with confidence in terms of volunteer numbers and funding for the months ahead.
Tell me more about the Philippines
Situated on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is one of the major crossroads in the eastern hemisphere. It claims title to the second largest archipelago on the planet, with over 7,100 individual islands within its borders and it is home to over 100 ethnic groups and hundreds of language dialects. For hundreds of years the Philippines was a Spanish colony that was eventually given to the U.S. in 1898, following the Spanish-American War. In 1946, at the end of World War II, it finally attained total independence. Since the end of the dictatorial government of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, the Philippines has been beset by divisive electoral problems and Muslim separatism in the South. For more information we suggest you purchase the Lonely Planet’s guide to Philippines.
What is the climate like in the Philippines?
The Philippines climate is tropical marine with hot and humid weather all year round. Although there are many regional variations the country can be divided into two seasons: wet and dry. The wet season (May to October) delivers heavy rains to most of the archipelago while the dry season (November to April) brings hot and humid air.
Temperatures rarely rise above 37C with the average temperatures sitting at 20 to 32C. Mean annual sea-level temperatures rarely fall below 27C.
Tell me more about your partner organization in the Philippines
Our partner in the Philippines is a non-governmental organization and has been established since 2005. Their objective is to assist and develop local Filipino communities through environmentalism, education, integration, research and volunteerism. This is achieved through the establishment of programs and projects nationwide, assisting local communities with their basic needs that benefit the most number of its people - not the least of whom are its children and its poor, and the environment.
What kind of volunteer work is available?
Volunteer opportunities are in teaching, childcare, library and school building and maintenance programs. Your placement will be tailored according to individual requirements of the program and volunteers.
What age do I have to be to volunteer in this program?
Volunteers must be 18 years or over when they volunteer. There is no upper age limit, we only require volunteers to be in good health.
When will I know specific details about my placement?
The specific details of your placement are determined during training. You will consult with the program manager in the Philippines so that requests and specific needs can be met with regards to both the volunteer and the needs of the community.
What language do I need to speak to participate in the program?
English. You may have English as your first or second language. English is one of the two official languages of the Philippines. Filipino (also known as Tagalog) is the other. When arriving in the Philippines you are placed into a training program that includes an intensive language course on basic Filipino phrases that you may need while volunteering.
When do I need to arrive in the Philippines?
Volunteers are required to arrive before the 1st of the month they are volunteering in except if they are due to start in January, February or November 2014. During January and November training will be held on the 4th of the month, in February is will be the 10th and on every other month training will be held on the 1st of month. Volunteers fly into Manila and will need to arrive a few days early to settle themselves before training begins. Accommodation can be arranged for you if you arrive earlier than when the training begins. You will have to pay your own expenses for any time you stay in the Philippines outside of training and volunteer time.
What are the living arrangements when volunteering?
During your training and volunteer time you are provided with accommodation which is covered by the in-country fee. Volunteers live with local families and will share their food and way of life. Volunteers will be provided with their own room. Please note that during orientation in Manila volunteers will be staying at a dormitory provided by our partner organization.
Where will I be located?
The Philippines program has one general program location: Romblon Province south of the main island of Luzon. Volunteers travel to their program location after the completion of their training program in Manila. This travel is organised by our partner in the Philippines and the cost is included in the in-country fee. Where possible volunteers will be escorted by a staff member from our partner organisation.
How many volunteers are there on site at the same time?
This depends on how many people volunteer at any one time. Usually there are two to four volunteers at the training. Generally you are placed with the other volunteers at one of the program locations unless you choose to be isolated or if you are the only volunteer at the time.
Are we able to do any sight seeing?
Volunteers are welcome to take short breaks during their volunteer time. We recognize that volunteering can be quite intensive. There are often other volunteers that want to do sight seeing also. You may like to travel to meet up with other volunteers to join in local festivities and explore your local surroundings. Visiting neighbouring islands are popular destinations for many volunteers. We ask that if you wish to take a break from volunteering that you give our partner organisation advance notice.
What hours am I expected to take part in the program?
Generally volunteers will work Monday to Friday. The number of hours worked each day varies depending on the program, but you can expect to work between 20 to 35 hours per week. Volunteers also need to understand that during the many holidays of the country, work may be suspended.
What resources are available for the program?
In most cases resources are limited. You may like to take donations of goods with you to distribute or use in the program. If you do choose to fundraise or donate items, it is a good idea to check with our partner organisation as to what will be of use to your particular program.
What is the course content of the training program?
The training program will be tailored to the volunteers’ needs and length of stay in the Philippines. Training takes place in Manila where volunteers are given a general introduction to the Philippines and the rules and regulations governing the volunteers’ conduct and program. The Filipino’s sensibilities, customs, values, as well as practical advice is also given during the training.
How do I pay my fees?
Your program fee is payable to Global Volunteer Network 10 weeks prior to the 1st of the month you wish to volunteer. Please note, your placement is not confirmed (ie secured) until your program fee has been received. Please note that all charges incurred by the payment of the program fee are at the volunteer’s expense, e.g. if a bank transfer incurs a bank fee at the point of origin, that is at the expense of the volunteer. Seventy percent (70%) of the program fee is refundable until two calendar months before the 1st of the month you are due to begin your program. For example a volunteer with 15 July 2012 as their start date would need to submit their refund request form by the last day of April 2012 to be eligible for a refund. Refer to GVN's legal terms of service for full details.
What clothing is appropriate for the program?
Considering the temperature and humidity, we recommend light coloured, cotton clothing that covers your whole body - this is best to keep the sun and insect bites away. Comfortable sturdy footwear as well as a pair of sandals/jandals for light walking is recommended. Don’t forget sunglasses and a hat.
Are there more expenses once I arrive?
In instances where your accommodation is situated outside of walking distance to your program site you will need to pay for your transport to and from work each day. You can expect to pay US10 cents one way for public transport in the Philippines. The program fee covers your basic needs, such as accommodation, most meals, and supervision. If you arrive early or intend on staying on in the Philippines for longer than you are volunteering then you will need to have spare money for this time. Also some money may be required for your days off. Other costs include buying bottled water, departure tax, and any shopping you will do personally. You will also need money for transportation back to the airport after the completion of your placement.
Do I need an entry visa?
If your stay in the Philippines is 21 days or less, you may not need a visa for your time in the country. If your stay is more than 21 days, you will need to obtain a Foreign Tourist Visa prior to arrival. Volunteers may obtain visas from Philippine embassies and consulates.
Do I need travel insurance?
All GVN Volunteers must have insurance. You are free to take out insurance cover through any provider of your choice. However, as some policies do not cover volunteering, we recommend you check you are covered during your volunteer placement.
For your convenience we have arranged a comprehensive package specially designed for volunteering. It includes excellent medical and accident coverage as well as “loss of deposits” cover which covers fees paid to GVN, airlines etc. If you would like to learn more just follow this link: http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/insurance/
Is there any time of the year when I canít volunteer?
The School Building and Maintenance program runs all year round. The Teaching/Day Care programs are not available during April and May. Please be aware that there are interruptions in all programs during the Christmas and New Year period (December 20th – January 4th). In 2013, the Philippines program will be closed from the third week in September till the end of October.
What immunizations /vaccinations will I need?
This is a suggestion of what may be needed - please consult with your medical professional or travel specialist for more details.
Hepatitis A & B
Diphtheria and tetanus
Japanese B encephalitis
Some of these can be taken in oral form so please discuss with your doctor to see what is best for you. Some people can be affected quite differently to others by medication. Malaria is not prevalent in Manila and Romblon where we have our projects.
Can I bring my family/ children to this program with me?
It may be possible to bring older children who are more independent to the program, but this will be decided on a case to case basis.
How does GVN choose volunteers for this program?
Each GVN program has different criteria depending on our partner's requirements. Every application is reviewed to ensure that the minimum requirements (as set out on the program page) are met. Next we look to see what skills or experience you have that relate specifically to the program. We are also interested in any previous volunteer experience you may have (either local or international), travel experience, and your particular interest in the program.
After reviewing your application, should we require any further information from you, we will email you to request this.
Do I have to be from New Zealand?
No, you can volunteer through the Global Volunteer Network from any where in the world.
Can special dietary arrangements be catered for in this program?
It is possible for special arrangements to be made if you have a vegetarian diet or other special dietary requirements. Those with special dietary requirements are required to inform program staff prior to arriving.
How safe is it to volunteer in the Philippines?
As in many countries, foreigners are perceived as wealthy in the Philippines. Although the people are generally warm and friendly towards foreigners, as well as appreciative of the work done by volunteers, not every individual is the same. We work extremely hard to ensure you are placed in safe environments while volunteering and security policies are in place to achieve this. However, as in any situation at home or abroad, there is no way to erase all potential threats.
About The Philippines
Situated on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines claims title to the second-largest archipelago on the planet with 7,107 individual islands.
Coral-fringed islands are home to extraordinary sights not to be missed: spectacular rice terraces, tropical rainforests, underground rivers, soaring limestone towers, uninhabited 'Robinson Crusoe' islands, and cascading waterfalls.
Development in The Philippines
The agricultural industry dominates the Philippine economy, which is considered one of the fastest growing economies in South East Asia. Important sectors of the Philippine economy include agriculture and industry, particularly food processing, textiles and garments, and electronics and automobile parts. Most industries are concentrated in the urban areas around metropolitan Manila.
The success of the Philippines economy has not alleviated the astonishing poverty present in the country. There is a widening gap between rich of poor and it is estimated that 40% of all Filipinos exist below the poverty line. Perhaps the most revealing fact about the nature of poverty found in the Philippines is that the richest 10% percent of the population holds 40% percent of the national income, while the poorest 10% percent of the population claims ownership to 1.5% percent of the national income.
Volunteers provide assistance to disadvantaged socio-economic groups within the Romblon community, focusing primarily on childcare, school children, schools and community buildings, promoting reading and the environment.
As a volunteer in the Philippines you can provide love, affection, education and support to children in childcare. You will help to improve education and facilities in schools ensuring children learn and flourish. You will also provide education, promote the importance of books and reading, inter-cultural exchange and understanding in Filipino communities.
What else can I do in the Philippines?
Volunteers are placed in a stunning island location and will have the opportunity during their free time to join in local festivities and visit neighboring islands. Enjoy spending the night in a resort with a pool and spa facilities. The Philippines is home to some of the world’s best diving and snorkelling so be sure to hit the water while you're there!
Take some time before or after your volunteer placement if you wish to explore other cities/regions in the Philippines.