16.12.17

Paskong VIDES 2017 @ Mabalacat, Pampanga



December 2, 2017 made history for VIDES Philippines as the most number of volunteers joined the annual Christmas celebration with the aetas and other underprivileged children.  total of 137 volunteers traveled to Sitio Monicayo, Mabalacat, Pampanga for the conduct of simultaneous activities such as provision of basic medical services, children's rights education, fun games, grooming services, and distribution of gifts.   

Once again, we wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the donors who supported this noteworthy undertaking. We also wish to thank Sr. Irene Mangabat FMA and the Mary Help of Christians Mabalacat community, for welcoming us and for filling our stomachs our delicious food.  Much gratitude of course goes to Sr Mabel Pilar FMA and Sr Jojo Carrasco FMA for always supporting our endeavors.  




The early Christmas celebration with the aeta community in Pampanga started in 2008.  In keeping with the organization's motto of being one for others, the volunteers decided to forego the usual yuletide celebration and deemed it more important to go the peripheries to share the joys of the blessed season.


1.12.17

Volunteers' Corner: Atty Juan Karlo Silva

Atty Juan Karlo Silva, a lawyer from the non-governmental organization Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN), joined the  the Mission Camp held in Minglanilla, Cebu from August 19-21, 2017.  Together with fellow lawyers from SALIGAN, he facilitated learning sessions for VIDES volunteers and for the mothers from the locality on Positive Discipline. 

Read Atty. Karlo's reflections on his participation in the VIDES Mission Camp below:

Q:  In what way has the Mission Camp touched you as a person or volunteer?

A: The mission camp was filled with good intentions and everyone is in the spirit of compassion for others. Being part of such an activity made me feel warmhearted. It is a joyful and satisfying experience to extend a helping hand to those who are in dire need of understanding,compassion, and relief. It is definitely an a priceless experience and I hope everyone would have the opportunity to be part of this kind of activity. Lastly, the world is much better knowing that there is an organization doing this.

Q:  Have you encountered Jesus in the Mission Camp? Please share your experience.

A: As a Catholic, I believe in Jesus Christ and his teachings. Being part of this activity is one of the ways of following Jesus’ foot steps. Following Jesus Christ uplifts your spirit. It gives you a heavenly happy feeling like no other. Having felt that way tells me that Jesus is leading us to heaven.

      Q: How do you think  the service you rendered for the VIDES Mission Camp will affect you as a person? 

A: Each time we do something good for others, something good also happens to us. But of course, we should first learn to look back and reflect on the things we have experienced. We should learn to appreciate the consequences of our actions in pursuit of God’s heavenly promise. Thereafter, we will realize God’s presence and promise.
     
      Q: Do you think the volunteering activities that you experienced today will inspire you to help others in your own little way?

      A: Yes. We all have our own crosses to carry. It may vary in weight and length because we all have unique circumstances. With this is mind, I do not expect everyone nor anyone to give more than what he/she has. Hence, however little, volunteering to help someone is already a step closer to heaven

     Q: Which part of the mission camp struck you the most and why?

     A: The part where the volunteers reach out to a vast number of persons, young and old, women, men, and children.

    Q: Have your expectations been met?

     A: Knowing where you are going is half the battle. With the proper mindset, expectations will be met. I joined and went to the activity not for personal comfort, but to share what we can to those who have less.


3.11.17

Volunteers' Corner: Atty Arfine Ingusan

Atty Arfine Ingusan, a lawyer from the non-governmental organization Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN), gave the following reflections on her participation in the Mission Camp held in Minglanilla, Cebu from August 19-21, 2017:

Q:  In what way has the Mission Camp touched you as a person or volunteer?

A: The mission helped strengthen the spirit of  being “one for others”. Even the simple act of sharing the time, resources, wisdom and talent GOD has given us seemed to have created a ripple of positive effect to those whom we have encountered. On the other hand, this opportunity to be of service to others have let us feel some sense of life’s purpose.

Q:  Have you encountered Jesus in the Mission Camp? Please share your experience.

A: Yes. HE had been there all throughout the mission camp from the time I left home to attend the mission camp, to some sidetrips, to the divine providence of letting me be able to develop the module presentation given a very limited time, to actual facilitation of the training of trainors, to a last minute assignment to facilitate the children’s session, to my airplane ride back home. HE had been with me all the time.

Q: How do you think  the service you rendered for the VIDES Mission Camp will affect you as a person? 

A: I believe that every human has a seed of kindness. Through this given opportunity to be of service to others, that seed could be nurtured. I felt privileged to be part of this noble mission. Not everyone is given the same opportunity to let their seed of kindness grow through this kind of experience.


Q: Which part of the mission camp struck you the most and why?

      A: The enthusiastic participation of all.  There is something about the enthusiasm, positive energy and the love we put in what we do that for me is magical and priceless. Pure bliss.





2.9.17

VIDES Returns to Minglanilla Cebu for Its 2017 Mission Camp


VIDES Philippines went back to Minglanilla, Cebu for its 22nd Annual Mission Camp which was held from August 19 to 21, 2017.
  
A total of five hundred (500) children and mothers from the oratory of Mary Help of Christians School in Minglanilla, Cebu benefited from the outreach activity.  VIDES gave free basic medical consultation and medicines.  Grooming services and a workshop on children's rights were also provided.  Ten (10) piglets and ten (10) goats were awarded to twenty (20) mother recipients as part of the VIDES livelihood program. 

The mission camp was concluded with gift-giving, where each of the child participant received a gift bag of food and other basic items (2 kilos of rice, 4 canned goods, toothpaste, toothbrush, bath soap, laundry soap, face towel, white t-shirts, water bottle, school supplies, Starbucks planner, Starbucks banana flavor syrup, coffee pudding, waffle, hotcakes).  Other items provided by organizations and individuals who have partnered with VIDES in the undertaking were also distributed.

We would like to convey our heartfelt gratitude to our very generous donors, the 47 selfless and tireless volunteers, the ever supportive FMA community, led by Sr. Mabel Pilar, FMA, the very hospitable Mary Help of Christians School-Cebu family, headed by Sr. Ma. Socorro Bacani, FMA, and VIDES Chairperson, Sr. Maria Josefina Carrasco, FMA, for making this year’s Mission Camp a big success. 

6.5.17

Volunteers' Corner: Marian Belarmino's Visit to Geneva


You never really know where VIDES can take you if you’re a volunteer. Some days, you can be riding the mobile library and going around the metro to visit the kids. Maybe you joined the mission camps and mangrove-planting activities and find yourself somewhere in Mindoro, Pampanga, Cebu or some other part of the country. Or like me, by God’s grace, and with the full support of the VIDES family, you may suddenly find yourself giving a speech at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.




What’s in Geneva?
Before anything else, let me explain what was going on in the United Nations during my stay there. It was the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council, and Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA), VIDES International, and the Permanent Mission of El Salvador co-organized a side event called, “Youth for Human Rights and the Good.” This side event was created to give the young people the opportunity to be heard by the States regarding their role in human rights and human rights education. It goes mostly unnoticed, but really, young people are often not talked about during human rights sessions. There’s only the children (below eighteen years old) and adults. We don’t realize that young adults cannot be fully adults just by turning eighteen, and so they have their own needs and challenges in relation to human rights. And by this initiative, IIMA and VIDES International gathered together ten (10) youth of today from different parts of the world to represent and talk about their human rights education experiences. That’s where I enter the story. We dedicated a whole week, from March 13-17, 2017, to fully prepare and present on the two-hour side event.




1.5.17

Mangrove & Beach Forest Development Project @ Calapan, Oriental Mindoro




Sixty volunteers traveled to Tahik, Baruyan, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro to support the Mangrove and Beach Forest Development Project of the local government last April 22 to 23, 2017.  Despite the difficulty encountered in reaching the area and in the actual planting due to the rapidly rising waters, the group was able to successfully plant a total of 1,000 mangrove seedlings.