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Volunteer for the Visayans

Orphanage Childcare and Education Helper

Tacloban City, Philippines

By volunteering in a childcare facility, you will be able to augment emotional and educational support for some of the Philippines most disadvantaged children.

Background Information

Volunteer for the Visayans currently works with a number of child care facilities both in Tacloban City and surrounding towns, with children aging from as young as one month to eleven or twelve years. These children that volunteers work with are often undernourished and have previously suffered from great deals of neglect. Many of them thrive on the attention that can be provided by volunteers and react well to enrichment activities that can help boost their social, motor functional and cognitive skills.

As in other developing countries, the Philippines lacks a strong safety net to support families at risk of breakdown. This has contributed to a deterioration of the family unit and an increase in the incidence of child abuse, neglect and abandonment. Many of the children in our facilities have been abandoned by an impoverished parent who could no longer care for them. 

This has put increased pressure on government and non government child welfare services to find permanent or temporary homes for such children. In most cases child care facilities are often underfunded and have limited resources. If you want to volunteer with orphans should not only have a strong passion for working with children, but must also be resourceful and able to show initiative.

 About the Program

One of the Childcare facilities we support is the Missionaries of Charity orphanage which is based in Tacloban City. It is an orphanage run by the religious group with the same name. Missionaries of Charity was founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the facility is run by nuns together with local house parents. The centre aims to provide safe temporary haven to children between 0-15 years old.

 These children are provided with all the basic services such as safe home, food, health, and education. All the children admitted to this facility are in need of help, with different cases. The children are abandoned, neglected, sickly, or malnourished. A few of them are placed there by a parent who needs help looking after the child while he/she is working.

Any volunteer, regardless of religious affiliations, can work at this child care facility. During prayer days however (Thursdays), volunteers especially those with different religious beliefs, are requested not to go to the orphanage to give way to a solemn observance of the day and to avoid distracting the attention of the kids as well.  

Why We Need You

Typically, the child to caregiver ratio in child care facilities is high, resulting in caregivers not having time to attend to much beyond the physical care of each child. Without emotional nurturing, children are at high risk of developing severe developmental and emotional disorders. As a volunteer, you will provide vital interaction with the children, assist house parents with daily chores and child supervision as well as running different activities to liven up the children’s day. 

Over the years, Volunteer for the Visayans (VFV) has augmented support to child care facilities through the distribution of resources such as clothing and vitamins. We have also supported projects to train local staff on relevant topics. Sadly, VFV does not have the capacity to provide support to these facilities on a daily basis and as a result need international volunteers to provide support. In addition, we value the skills and expertise that international volunteers bring to the orphanage. 

Whilst no official care-giving experience is required, VFV requires you to have a love of children and be able to work both independently and in small groups. This is a meaningful way you can learn first-hand the hardship that some children in the world face and give back to underprivileged children in the developing world.

Dress Code

To conform to the Filipino conservative culture and to look professional, volunteers must dress modestly. The volunteer must report to work wearing the appropriate clothes. Top must consist of shirt or blouse or tshirt with sleeves. No singlet or tank top. Top should not have plunging neckline. Bottom wear must be knee-length/long pants or knee-length skirt for women and knee-length shorts or long pants for men. Footwear must be shoes or sandals. Outside work, a volunteer can wear more comfortable article of clothing such as shorts and tank tops and wear flip flops.

Transportation to the Placement

 Patience is required when traveling to and from placement though it is quite easy to reach this placement than the others and some volunteers would even choose to walk. The volunteer’s daily commute takes at most 10 minutes and requires him/her to travel from Bliss to Kalipayan on a jeepney that goes to downtown. This ride cost 0.14 USD only. Any jeepney that passes along “Sariling Sikap” road by the VFV arch with a sign that says “Diretso Downtown” will take you to your placement. 

Get off at the corner of Kalipayan road leading to Missionaries of Charity orphanage. On the way back, you have to catch a jeepney that goes back to Bliss, with a sign saying Diretso Bliss with the same fare. Volunteer will be briefed on getting to placement and back to Bliss during the placement orientation at the beginning of the program.

Typical day

A typical day for a volunteer at the orphanage starts as early as 5:30 rising up from bed to have breakfast and prepare to leave for work.

At 7:30 am, the volunteer should be already on the road either taking a walk or riding a jeepney going to the placement. The volunteer will be working alongside nuns and house parents who also rise up early to prepare for the kids' breakfast. 

The volunteer is required to work four times a week, from Monday to Friday except Thursday which is prayer time. Usually the required number of work time is only 4 hours a day but volunteers commonly render more than 4 hours. 

As a child care facility, the volunteer’s role is basically that of a support staff. Aside from helping the houseparent and nuns look after the children, especially the babies, the volunteer can also assist the nuns in the other activities. 

A day is usually spent playing with the kids, helping the house parents with the household chores, babysitting and giving some of the kids reading, writing, or drawing lessons. The kids will have their lunch at around 11:00 am and the volunteer will helps in feeding some of the younger kids. Naptime follows after lunch and the volunteer can now leave for lunch and may choose to come back at 3:00 pm.

Details on Arrival

Volunteers can apply anytime throughout the year. They may choose to arrive at anytime of their convenience and a volunteer coordinator is always available to pick them up at the airport. 

Pre-departure information is sent during application process and an in-depth program orientation is also conducted upon arrival. The program may start at once the following day after arrival and with working hours of 08:00am – 12 noon for the morning shift and 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm for the afternoon shift, Mondays to Fridays except for Thursdays which is prayer day (minimum).



Free-time activities

Our volunteers can use their free time either for their personal activities or for organizing side projects with our sponsored kids, with the Boys and Girls Club or with the moms under our Laura's Craft and Mother's Club. 

The former may include a trip to some of the beautiful white-sand beaches and sandbars, islands, waterfalls, underground river, surf camps, and caves found in the region while the latter can include baking sessions with the local moms, dance tutorials with the teens, or teaching any other craft or life skills to the locals. 

Our volunteers would usually organize those activities as a group during long weekends or holidays. We also have our Volunteer's Lounge which has wi-fi and where volunteers can hang around with fellow volunteers. They can also use the lounge for a movie night once a week.

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Hiking
Sports
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Required Documents
CV with photo, Passport, Police Check and and Character References
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
No formal training is required though it is important that volunteers be compassionate, non-judgmental, and adaptable. Prospective volunteers who have experienced similar childhood trauma should have received counseling for themselves as working in this type of setting may result in the surfacing of painful, unresolved personal issues.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 08:00 - 17:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Any questions? Just ask. We at Volunteer for the Visayans are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Included Services

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All program fees are charged directly by Volunteer for the Visayans.
Services by Volunteer for the Visayans

Included in the Program Fee are the following:

  • Airport Reception and Drop-off
  • Accommodation with Local Host Family with 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner)
  • Comprehensive Program Orientation
  • Basic Waray-Waray Language Lesson
  • Volunteers Excursion
  • Project Tour
  • 24-hour Local Staff Support

Airport Pickup at Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Upon arrival in Tacloban, a coordinator will meet you at the airport and introduce you to the rest of the VFV staff and your homestay family. After this you will be provided with a full orientation on Volunteer for the Visayans as well as a short comprehensive health and safety briefing.

Following this, you will be escorted by one of our coordinators and shown how to use the local transport system. You will be shown how to get back and forth from your volunteer placement as well as being briefed on how to get to a variety of different points of interest.

Accommodation

Volunteers assigned to our Tacloban area projects will be placed with homestays in Bliss, where we are located. Bliss is a congested, low-income neighborhood but it has a low crime rate and is safe. There is strong community cohesion and pride, and the neighborhood homes and surroundings are relatively well-maintained. Our community center is located in the middle of Bliss. 

An adjacent basketball court area serves as a gathering place for the community. Here you’ll see youth playing basketball; tethered cocks staking out their territories on the sidelines; children keeping busy; adults sitting on benches, exchanges stories; slabs of meat being cut on portable tables; and vendors selling their wares.

Most of our homestay families have been with us for many years and are experienced in working with international volunteers. They take pride in their role and view the volunteer as a valued member of the family. They want volunteers to experience Filipino culture and participate in the family’s daily activities as well as special celebrations that come up. 

All homes have electricity and running water. You will have a private bedroom for you alone or that you share with another volunteer, and you will sleep under a mosquito net. A fan will be provided as none of the homes are air-conditioned. There is just one bathroom in the house that is shared by all family members. Your home will be safe, clean and comfortable, but living conditions will be much lower than in developed country.

The bathroom accommodations, in particular, are very basic and volunteers will be taking cold water, bucket baths. Because the weather in the Philippines is tropical, volunteers typically say that the cold water baths have been refreshing. However, each person needs to consider whether these conditions will be acceptable. 

There will be other things to adjust to, including the neighborhood roosters who will announce the start of a new day with pre-dawn crowing. You will be taken out of your comfort zone, at least initially. Most volunteer report they adjusted fairly quickly to these conditions.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages

You will eat the same local food as the family (though the homestay parents know what foreigners typically enjoy). Homestays can cater to the special dietary requirements of some volunteers, so please include this in your application form. You will also be provided with filtered water to drink, as it would be best for travellers to be cautious and not drink tap water.

You will be provided with two meals a day (breakfast and dinner) by your homestay. All meals will be served with rice and typically include fish, chicken or pork. 

Local café’s and restaurants can also be found all over the city, with most meals costing from around 2 USD to 6 USD. Bottled water is also available in most food establishments and in grocery stores.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Manila. We assist you to find cheap flights to Philippines.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Philippines provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Philippines you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Philippines.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$960.00
5 weeks
$1,040.00
6 weeks
$1,120.00
7 weeks
$1,200.00
9 weeks
$1,360.00
11 weeks
$1,520.00
24 weeks (max. stay)
$2,560.00
Average fees
$173.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Tacloban City/Philippines between 4 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Volunteer for the Visayans will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Philippines.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Volunteer for the Visayans during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
Asia South-Eastern Asia the Philippines Tacloban City, Lot 63, Cluster 2, Barangay 64, Bliss, Sagkahan
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