I've been volunteering for IDV for five weeks now and my experience has been a positive one, no doubt about that. One of the best things volunteering for IDV in my opinion is that one can actually see the affect their work have on the community. Also the feedback from the local community has been positive.
Internet connection at IDV's base is fast and reliable, also the food is tasty and nutritious. Three meals are provided each day.
I can recommend IDV for anyone, especially for first time volunteers. Safety standards are high at IDV as well as IDV can offer a variety of interesting projects to participate in.
I have been thinking of working as a volunteer for a very long time but I found it difficult to find the right place or organisation. After a bit of travelling I wanted to do something for others and I found EDV through a friend that has been working with them when they were in Haiti. I have been in the Phillippines, with EDV, for 2 weeks now and I have had an absolutly great time so far. I have been helping out to built a carpark for their new evacuation centre (that the local organisation Buklod Tao is building at the moment) and I have learnt so much. Even if you dont have any skills in construcion or building you can still come here and help out. There is always something to do or to help out with.
To work as a volunteer gives me a lot more than just new experiences in construcion. I have met a lot of wonderful people here, both in EDV and through Buklod Tao, and they have really showed us their culture and they are very welcoming and kind.
Today we started with the IT-training with some of the members in Buklod Tao and they really appreciate everything we do. Its a great way of travelling and even if its hard work you get som much back. I have only 2 weeks left before I go back home to Sweden but I absolutly hope I can get back here o do some more volunteering or work for EDV in one of their future projects!
I joined EDV in the Philippines a couple of weeks ago. EDV is momentarily supporting a local organisation (Buklod Tao) which is supporting people in areas vulnerable to flooding and disasters by running a program in disaster risk reduction and prevention management.
From the very first moment I felt very welcomed and integrated in the team. The atmosphere is comfortable and pleasant. During the day we work either in the office or directly on site at Buklod Tao, and in the evenings we relax and just have a good time. But not only the EDV team makes me feel so comfortable here, it is as well the experience with the locals and the Filipinos as such. They are always helpful and smiling, making your stay as much as pleasant as possible.
EDV is running different projects from capacity building to youth or IT programs, etc. Right now I am supporting the paralegal team from Buklod Tao by running a paralegal program with them in different areas, e.g. Violence against women and children, allocation of funds for disaster risk prevention and management as well as procedures against activities with negative environmental effects. Since Buklod Tao showed interest in these areas, and already had started to work on some of them, they were very pleased to have a professional lawyer to support them with their issues and help to enforce their interests and legal rights, as well as giving them advice and directions how to proceed on their own once I will be gone.
My experience working with them is just amazing. I have rarely seen so much commitment and enthusiasm, especially the variety of their ideas and their straightforward way to approach the problems impressed me massively. Besides, the people are so thankful for any help and support with their problems and issues - I was stunned how much they show their gratitude and it shows me that it was definitely the right decision to join EDV in their project here.
This is one of these experiences you will never regret. Just do it.
I can't speak highly enough about volunteering with EDV in the Philippines. I have been here for just over a month now and can't wait to see what my next two months bring!
Filipinos are some of the most friendly and welcoming people I have ever met. I have felt comfortable and at home here since I arrived. That is not just due to the Filipinos. The directors and other volunteers working with EDV are eclectic, fun and made me feel included from the moment I walked in the door. We work hard everyday and then at night we all take a load off and play cards, watch movies and hang out. It is a perfect balance of work and play.
I am charged with the task here of supporting a local youth group to plan and execute workshops and programs for the community. We just finished a 6 day theatre arts workshop for at risk youth from the community. I sat with them while they organized their ideas, had meetings and worked through problems offering a guiding hand and words of encouragement when necessary. I have never felt so proud as when I sat at the workshop and watched the youth that I had worked with for weeks effectively run a workshop in which they engaged the 30 participants, had fun and met their goal of putting together a showcase on the final day. If I didn't know any better, I wouldn't believe that it was their first time running a workshop and it was their own brain child. When we asked them after the workshop what they learned they told me that they gained the confidence to be leaders and to understand that they can achieve their goals as long as they put their minds to it and work hard. They (and I) can't wait to start our next project together and are ready to take on whatever obstacles stand in their way! This experience thus far has challenged me and changed me forever.
I have just returned to the UK from the Philippines, where I worked on the Evacuation centre. Previously i worked in Thailand for 10 months were i met EDV's ceo (Andy Chaggar) and EDV co ordiantor Criddy B.
During my short stay in the Philippines I was overwhelmed by the local people, through their warmth and kindness, their belief in themselves and what they can achieve. I was among the first volunteers to arrive to help and was in ore of what the local community have managed to achieve.
With the EDV's approach to helping the community via boots on the ground and targeted, sustainable funding, this community of over 700 can really make giant strides to their goals.
A vibrant and pro active youth group, although only being 18yrs or so old, are determined to educate and inform the community around them and further afield about the environmental issues that effect them and their families, amongst other things.
They are building rescue boats from scratch to save people when the floods do come.
Building an evacuation centre to accept 100 families and dealing with flood defences and erosion control programs too.
If you are looking for a welcoming, easy going and very rewarding experience, what ever your skill set, then contact the EDV. You will gleam so much from your experience on many different levels AND you will more than likely make a few very very cool friends for life.
This is the third time that I am volunteering with EDV. The first two times were in Port au Prince, Haiti and I can say that it is again a wonderful time that I am allowed to spend here with the people of the community as well as the other volunteers and staff members.
The work is as hard as it is hot here but so much fun at the same time! The workers on the construction site of the Evac-center, which almost a hundred families will use in the case of the next floodings, are very warm-hearted, welcoming and funny. I did not expect to be integrated into a construction crew of the size of 27 Philippinos this quickly, but it happend as it did for the other three volunteers that are currently working there with me.
It is always fun to have a crew from so many different countries and work with them. We are one man from Finland, one from England, one from St. Helena and me, from Germany...
I can totally recommend to volunteer with EDV, if you are open to people, want to have fun doing something good and experience a great community!
In 2011 I spent 3 weeks in Haiti with this small but impressive organization under very primitive conditions in Haiti in my function as a general practicioner.
Very amazing how they integrated different persons from different countries within a short-time period with high effectiveness and low costs united by the aim to help poor people in Haiti after the earth-quake.
The photo with the international supporters group after a improvised consultary in a church in the city Fond Du Negres (directed by high effective Dr. PJ. Pitt) shoul be the press photo of the year :
the "real" United Nations.
The staff was in a good mood with a nice humor instead of eating chicken bones and noodles for months....
All the best for you!
Dr.med. Ralf Wiertelarz
Facharzt für Allgemeinmedizin/Psychotherapie