Be a Changemaker this summer
by: Harvey S. Keh
The Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines–As we enter the month of March, many students are now looking towards planning their summer vacation activities. Whether you are looking forward to hitting the beaches of Boracay, cooling off in Baguio or trekking up the wonderful Banaue Rice Terraces, I hope that you will also consider volunteering your summer for bigger causes such as helping improve our public education system and promoting good governance and ethical leadership in our country.
Choosing to become a volunteer this summer will not only help others but will also help you improve your leadership skills as well as provide you with an opportunity to meet new friends. Here are some organizations that you can join to make your vacation worthwhile and become a positive changemaker this summer.
• Kaya Natin! Movement for good governance and ethical leadership (KN)
One of the main missions of KN is to be able to encourage more young Filipinos to become active in terms of holding our government officials like our mayors and congressmen accountable for their action or in many cases, inaction.
KN also showcases effective, ethical and empowering leaders in our county such as DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo, Among Ed Panlilio and former Gov. Grace Padaca.
We are currently in the middle of our Caravan of Good Governance which gives talks to different colleges and universities all over the country.
Among the schools that have been visited by KN are Miriam College, St. Scholastica’s College, Letran and Malayan Colleges Laguna.
This summer, KN will be conducting a Leadership and Good Governance Training Workshop for college level youth leaders. The event will be held from April 28-29 in Antipolo. Participants will be given an opportunity to interact with the KN Champions who will share their personal experiences in advocating transparency, accountability and people participation in their respective localities.
At the end of the workshop, KN will train these youth leaders to also establish innovative programs and projects that will help them to engage their local government officials.
KN is also looking for volunteers who are interested to participate in our Karapatan at Kalusugan program which provides free medical check-up and medicines to indigent senior citizens in the areas of our KN Champions. What makes this different from your typical medical mission is the fact that all those who participate will also be given a lecture on their rights as senior citizens, good governance and responsible citizenship. Those who choose to volunteer or become a summer intern for this program will help KN in coordinating with the different partner communities as well as help the movement in sourcing donations of medicine. If you would like to be involved in KN this summer, you can send an email to email@example.com or you can also call 4341458.
• Community-based toy library
We believe that every Filipino child deserves to be given the opportunity to play that is why a group of my friends are now working together towards setting up the first community-based Toy Library at Barangay Loyola Heights on Quezon City.
The toy library aims to take young children off the streets and give them a place where they can play with other children.
It will also teach children how to share and interact properly with each other. Parents of the children who will use the toy library will be the ones tasked with maintaining the cleanliness and upkeep of the facilities.
Currently, we are now accepting donations of toys and other educational materials. We also need volunteers who will help us in designing and refurbishing the room that the barangay has so generously lent us.
Youth volunteers will also be asked to conduct story telling sessions, art workshops and other educational activities for the children who will be using the toy library.
For those who want to volunteer for our toy library, you can get in touch with Edsel Ramirez by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
• Acts of Hope for the Nation (AHON) Foundation
As the corporate foundation of Filway Marketing Inc., the country’s exclusive distributor of Time Life books, AHON Foundation aims to promote literacy by helping develop well-equipped and functional public elementary school libraries all over the country.
To date, the foundation has helped 40 schools in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces. The foundation does not merely give books to the schools but more importantly it works toward empowering different stakeholders in the community such as the barangay, teachers association and the parents to work together to set up the library.
Volunteers or summer interns will help the foundation organize events and activities that will encourage people to donate books for the beneficiary libraries. They can also help in sorting the book donations since there are times that the books that are donated are not applicable to elementary school students. If you are interested in helping AHON Foundation, you can get in touch with Herbel Santiago at 355-1567.
So instead of just spending your whole summer vacation updating your Facebook or chatting with your friends online, why not just choose to make this coming summer a memorable and fulfilling one by volunteering your time, talent and energies towards being a young Filipino changemaker!
Comments are welcome at email@example.com
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