VIDES Eat and Meet: Volunteers' Fair

The VIDES Eat and Meet: Volunteers’ Fair was held last Sunday, 27 November, at the Don Bosco School Sta. Mesa. 
The said event was a triple celebration held in connection with the 21st Anniversary of VIDES in the Philippines, the annual gathering of VIDES Pinoy volunteers, friends, and benefactors, and the advance observance of the International Volunteers’ Day.

VIDES Delegate Sr. Jojo Carrasco welcomed all attendees and related the significance of holding the annual Eat and Meet event.  An audio visual presentation about VIDES was shown, which was followed up by a quick discussion on the history of the organization, as well as its programs and activities.

Former Busina Mo, Dunong Ko participant and grantee of VIDES sholarship, Marian Belarmnio, shared an inspiring story on how she got to know VIDES, joined its activities, became an active volunteer, and finished her studies with the help of the organization.  Marian is one of the success stories of VIDES.  She recently graduated with latin honors (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Business Administration and now works in a commercial bank.    

Opportunities for volunteering in countries where there is Daughters of Mary Help of Christians or FMA presence was also introduced.   Atty Anna Theresa Cruz shared her experiences during her  three-month internship at the VIDES International Human Rights Office in Geneva, Switzerland.  Ms. Rosylyn Arnigo reminisced about the fun and enriching experience she had with the volunteers who attended the VIDES International Convention in Rome, Italy.  

A video presentation made by international volunteers, Ryan and Halle from Canada, and Judith from Germany, who are currently in Palawan was also shown.  Volunteers  Carine Cuinet from France and Roberto Manzoni from Italy also went on stage to share what they are doing for the marginalized sector in the country through VIDES Philippines.

Sr Jojo Carrasco also gave an update on the recently completed Livelihood and Development Center for Women and Their Families in Trece Martirez, Cavite.  The facility, which stands on a 107 square meter lot area, seeks to provide a venue for women empowerment, especially in the field of economic independence and sustainability.  The two-storey building shall house a bakery, a sewing room, and a small office which will cater to microcredit and other livelihood projects

During the event, VIDES also launched the “Raffle for a Cause”  fundraising project for the procurement of baking equipment and supplies for the VIDES Bakery  as well as sewing machines and other equipment for the Livelihood and Development Center. Sr Jojo explained that the sooner the equipment are provided, the sooner the center can operate to provide livelihood opportunities target beneficiaries.  She enjoined the attendees to support the fundraising project for the center.

That afternoon, volunteers  and guests enjoyed bonding and hopping from one booth to another.   Among the booths set up were the following: teddy bear making kiosk, paper flower-making and block stamping booth,  DIY photo booth,  gift booth, and VIDES history booth, and various food kiosks.  Jeph Suzara also entertained the guests with his rendition of popular songs.

VIDES volunteers also had an enjoyable time reminiscing and walking down memory lane as they pinned  photos on places they have been to because of VIDES on the Philippine map and the world map.   They also wrote their commitment on the VIDES Freedom Wall.  Lucky volunteers and guests who joined the question and answer game also took home Starbuck gift certificates and merchandise.

It was certainly not a lazy Sunday afternoon, but an afternoon of fun, bonding, sharing, learning, and making a difference. 


We wish to thank the FMA community and DBS Sta. Mesa for always supporting the activities of VIDES Pinoy. 


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