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.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
I would encourage volunteers with interest for running a specific program as I do for a longer stay. If you are doing a paralegal program just for a few weeks, then of course you will not always have a chance to see the outcomes while you are here, which is a bit of a shame. But on the other hand, it is always possible to keep in touch with the people and support them via Internet from abroad, so any support - either for a few weeks or for longer - is always a help.
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For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
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