Volunteers' Corner: Ludovica Cesari

"I started my travel without any expectations because it was my first experience like a missionary.  I heard from other people about their missions and I spoke with them about their feelings, but I knew that every experience is different because each person is different. 

I didn't know how I would react seeing, but especially staying in contact with this kind of poverty.   In Italy you see poor people without home.  Often they have it, but they can't afford the bills and they haven't got money to buy food.  But in my country you don't see children sleeping in the streets. 

My mission in Manila was to stay with the children of the streets: teach them, dance with them, but especially speak with them, even though there exists gap of the language. They didn't care if you didn't understand what they were saying, they just wanted to speak with you. The children know that you are there for them and they are so grateful for it. 

Almost certainly there are difficult days.  It's part of the plan, but also in these days there would be someone, who with little wonderful things, will make you understand that you are in the right way and you are always supported by someone. 

Being a missionary is one of the best experiences in my life and it's something that is difficult to understand if you don't live it. In my opinion everyone should try to do it, for themselves, but especially for others. 

My experience was very short, only one month, but it has been really intense and full of emotions. There were some moments that I will always bring in my heart.  One is when I was sitting on the floor with all the little children around me trying to count in English and every time they said a correct number they wanted give me a high five or when in the public school all children run toward me hugging me so strong and screaming 'Ciao Ate Ludo!' 

For them you are really important, whoever you are and they prove that to you every day. Even on the last day, they were so sad, someone cried and many of them wrote me some beautiful letters.  They don't have material things, but they give you a true and sincere love that will change your life." 


Help Build the VIDES Livelihood and Development Center for Women

Help VIDES Philippines build a livelihood and development center for underprivileged women in Cavite, Philippines. The two-storey facility seeks to provide an avenue for women empowerment, especially in the field of economic independence and sustainability.

The center, which will be built on a 107 square meter lot area, will house a bakery, a sewing room, and a small office which will cater to microcredit and other livelihood projects.

The target beneficiaries of this livelihood and development center are the relocated informal settlers from Barangay 143 in Pasay City to Trece Martires in Cavite. The more than 1,500 households are bereft with viable sources of income due to the remoteness of the relocation site and the unavailability of job opportunities in the community.

How Can You Help?
1. Buy a raffle ticket for only P200.00 each! Each ticket entitles you to join the raffle where you can win any one of the following: 1st Prize - 4 days & 3 nights trip for 2 to Bangkok, Thailand (hotel and roundtrip flights via PAL); 2nd Prize - 3 days & 2 nights trip for 2 to Coron, Palawan; 3rd Prize- 3 days & 2 nights trip for 2 to Boracay.

2. Donate funds. All donors will be issued official receipts and acknowledgement letters. (Please drop us a line at videspinoy@gmail.com to get the bank account details.)

3. Naming rights are also offered for donors who will donate a substantial amount (Please send us an email at videspinoy@gmail.com for more information.)

Where Will Your Donations Go?
All donations will go to the construction of the proposed two-storey VIDES Philippines Livelihood and Development Center for Women in Bella Vista, Trece Martires, Cavite.
Your contributions will enable us to help underprivileged women help themselves and their families by providing a venue where they can receive training on sewing, baking, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

Other Ways You Can Help:
Help comes in many forms. If you are unable to make a financial contribution but still want to help us, please help us spread the word and share this campaign with your family and friends.

Make the VIDES Livelihood and Development Center become a reality!

Help build the facility. Help empower women. Help change lives.


Turnover of Industrial Tractor to Farmers of Barangay Catmon

An industrial tractor was handed over to Barangay Catmon, Tanauan, Leyte last July 25, 2015. Sr. Maria Josefina “Jojo” Carrasco, FMA led the handover of the farming equipment which will benefit 169 families.  Fr. Alcris Badana, Director of Caritas Palo, presided over the machine's blessing.

VIDES Philippines, together with the residents of Brgy. Catmon, extends its gratitude to VIDES Italy for the joint project with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) and Caritas Italiana. 


Revisiting Oriental Mindoro: Mangrove Planting

VIDES Pinoy volunteers revisited the Mangrove Sanctuary in  Barangay Silonay, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro last May 9 to supplement the 1,000 mangrove seedlings which the group planted in January of the previous year.

Seventy-four volunteers, young and old alike, happily planted a total of 3,000 mangrove seedlings in the bare portion of the mangrove reservation area.   The trees planted will serve as additional barrier and protection for the residents of Silonay from storm surges, rise in sea level, and coastal erosion. 

The "Man Grows Mangroves Project" which was launched in 2013 is VIDES Philippines' contribution to the global effort to promote environmental awareness, protection, and preservation.   


Mangrove Planting in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro

In celebration of its 20th year, VIDES Philippines will have another mangrove planting activity on Saturday, May 9, 2015 in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro.

Dubbed as "Man Grows, Mangroves Project," the project aims to promote awareness of environmental issues, particularly the protection of coastlines and the importance of planting trees to help mitigate the effects of typhoon-related disasters. 


VIDES Spiritual Retreat 2015

In time for the observance of the Holy Week, 42 VIDES volunteers took a break from their busy schedule to join the Annual VIDES Spiritual Retreat held last March 28 to 29 at the Don Bosco Retreat House in Nasugbu, Batangas.

The two-day retreat, which was facilitated by Reverend Father Renato "Mols" Molina, SDB, gave the volunteers the much-needed opportunity to reflect on how they can further strengthen their relationship with God and how they can become more effective bearers of His love and compassion, amidst the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment.  Father Mols underscored the importance of having a vision, an understanding of what's going on, making plans, and having the agility or flexibility to adapt to the changing times. 

The volunteers also learned about the importance of readiness, of having humble strength, urgent patience, active attention, physical and mental discipline, and of having the skill to listen and engage in effective storytelling to reach out to others, especially to the youth.   

After two days of reflection, prayers, and getting to know each other better, the volunteers went home inspired and challenged, more than ever before, to "be the unwritten scriptures for the young people."