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Volunteer for the Visayans

Support Staff in Street Children Shelter

Volunteer with street children and provide inspiration, education and support to some of the Philippines’ most underserved and underprivileged children.

Why it is important

Sadly, it is not uncommon in the Philippines to see children begging for food and sleeping on the sidewalk. Some of these children live at home but spend their day on the streets instead of attending school. Others have left home permanently. As international food prices grow and little is done to improve the lives of socioeconomically stressed families, the street children ‘problem’ continues to grow with yet more and more children appearing on the streets of Tacloban and Ormoc City. These children come from dysfunctional homes where typically there is poverty, violence, neglect, or addiction issues. Many have left home to escape from abusive treatment. Others have resorted to begging in the streets because there is no food at home. 

Street children typically sniff rugby (a brand of glue) to overcome hunger pains and cope with depression. Most of the street children are malnourished and in poor health, and vulnerable to sexual exploitation and street crimes and violence. By volunteering to provide education and recreational services for these children you will be contributing to our efforts to improve the lives of some of the less-fortunate children in the Philippines. Volunteers will be placed in a residential/rehabilitation facility for street children in Tacloban City or in Ormoc City run by their respective  City Social Welfare and Development Offices.

Project Profile

The Street Children Center is officially called Social Development Center for Children (SDCC), a social welfare residential center run by the Social Welfare and Development Office. It provides shelter and care for disadvantaged male street children aging 18 and below. In particular the center houses children who are beggars, scavengers, children at risk, orphaned and abandoned, and victims of maltreatment and neglect. The street children program is intended to provide basic social welfare support services to these disadvantaged boys. 

Kids who loiter or roam around the streets are rounded up to save them from bad elements and all forms of exploitation. The centre becomes their temporary home until such time that the family or relatives come to take them home. Most of the kids at the centre stay longer than 6 months. The centre provides them a temporary safe haven. They are given free food, clothing, and other basic needs. These children are also provided educational support and sent to schools for formal education.

The facility is headed by the center head who is a Social Welfare Officer and is being assisted by a few houseparents. It is usually understaffed and underfunded and support from outside like from NGOs and international volunteers and organizations is very much valuable and can make a lot of difference to the lives of these young boys. Tangible contributions, donations or projects which can improve the living condition of the children at the center can be a very big help. 

The SDCC in Tacloban City is located in the northern part of the city and and is accessible via jeepneys and usually takes 45 minutes to one hour from the volunteer's homestay. While the SDCC in Ormoc City is stuated in the downtown area and is reachable via jeepneys also in about 30 to 45 minutes from the homestay.

Why we need you

In most cases, the street children have not had a nurturing upbringing, have dropped out of school, and are typically in poor health. They have not had many positive role models in their lives, and many of them will welcome the attention and services offered by a volunteer. Others may be less trusting of adults and will be more challenging to work with. You will work closely with the City Social Welfare Development Office which runs the facility thru its social workers and houseparents. By working with these young boys in a caring and non-judgmental manner, you will demonstrate that adults can be trusted and respected. Most importantly, we believe that volunteers can transfer their specialist skills, interests and good values to the street children. We need role models for these children and emphasize the importance of obtaining education and eradicating bad habits. Due to the nature of the project and the commitment needed, VFV requires a minimum stay of four weeks.

Dress Code

To conform with 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 of blouse or t-shirt with sleeves. No singlet or tank top. Top should not have plunging neckline. Bottom wear must be long pants or knee-length skirt. Footwear must be shoes or sandals. Outside work, a volunteer can wear more comfortable articles of clothing such as shorts and tank tops and wear flip flops.

Transportation to the Placement

During placement, volunteer will take any of the following public transportation vehicles, depending on his/her destination: jeepney, multicab or motorcycle. Patience is required when traveling to and from placement. In Tacloban City, the volunteer’s daily commute requires him/her to travel from Bliss to downtown which costs 0.14 USD. From downtown, he/she must catch the multicab for “Tagpuro” which costs 0.40 USD. In Ormoc City, transportation costs are the same and requires the volunteer to commute from homestay going to the downtown area where the center is located. The volunteer will be briefed on getting to placement and back during the placement orientation at the beginning of the program.

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Typical day

The volunteer will be working alongside staff such as the social worker and houseparents.The volunteer is required to work at this placement five times a week, from Monday to Friday, even on holidays since the program is always open. Usually the required number of work time is only 4 hours but volunteers commonly render more than 4 hours. Working schedule here is from 3:00 pm until 7:00 pm since the boys are in school most of the day and return mid or late afternoon. 

The boys here need help with their lessons so tutorial is a very useful activity. The boys also like sports, games, some arts and craft, and music. Take note their attention span is not very long so it is important to incorporate fun games and sports in their activities. These are boys who like to be physically active and have fun outdoors. It is also important to teach them personal hygiene and values. 

 

Details on Arrival

Volunteers can apply and join the program anytime the whole year round. 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 project may start at once the following day after arrival and the minimum working hours required is 4 hours a day, Monday to Friday.

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 or life experience 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, Thursday and Friday from 15:00 - 19:00

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

Contact Project Coordinator

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
Contact & Reservation
$173
/week
$173
/week
4 - 24
weeks
4 - 24
weeks
18+
age
18+
age
Airport Pickup
Housing
Food
Internet
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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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 (local dialect) Language Lesson
  • Volunteers Excursion
  • Project Tour
  • 24-hour Local Staff Support

Airport Pickup at Ninoy Aquino International

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.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
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.
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.

Get ready to volunteer in Philippines

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Philippines. Please check the visa regulations for Philippines.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Philippines and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Philippines.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Philippines.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Ninoy Aquino International (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.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Philippines you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Philippines.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Philippines while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Lot 63, Cluster 2, Barangay 64, Bliss, Sagkahan, 6500 Tacloban City, Philippines zoom="6"

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