Volunteerism: A Way of Life Volunteerism: A Way of Life Jo B. Bitonio- ARD CDA Lecture/PresenterCapability Enhancement Training, Pangasinan Regency Hotel Calasiao, Pangasinan – November 7, 2012
There is no "I" in Team but there is a "u" in volunteer! And There is no "I" in Team, but we sure are glad there is "u" in our volunteers! Debbie Weir
• Everyday across the globe, millions of people are involved in a myriad of activities as health workers, in construction, as care assistants, as social activists, and in a multitude of other direct activities to strengthen their communities and the “civil society” in which they live.• The common factor shared by all types of volunteers is a commitment by the individual to the common or public good, in that they work not merely for their own interests but for the benefit of others. “
The scale of volunteering worldwide crosses cultures and political systems and makes it one of the most powerful elements in development and relief. But despite the major contribution of volunteerism to development, it has yet greater untapped potential for local and national capacity development.
What then are the voluntary services?Some people believe that the good deeds in our daily lives are voluntary services. Others think that a mere donation of money without physical or emotional involvement cannot be defined as voluntary service.Voluntary services are non-profit and non-remunerative efforts which individuals make for the purposes of improving the welfare of o t h e r s in t h e neighborhood, the community and in society.
The United Nations has played a particularly significant role through the adoption of specific resolutions on volunteering. The first in 1985 invited governments to observe 5th December each year as an International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development and the second in 1997, sponsored by 126 countries, proclaimed 2001 the International Year of Volunteers. Both resolutions noted the critical role of governments in supporting and encouraging volunteering
The contribution made by volunteers is regarded as crucial to the achievement of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) set in 2000 for achievement by 2015.
Volunteering in the Broader ContextVolunteering is increasingly viewed within a broader environmental context defined variously as civic engagement or community participation.
Capacity Development Multiplier• volunteerism as a key means to achieving desired results.• by virtue of the mass of people involved and the networks of like-minded organizations engaged, volunteering is a capacity development multiplier
Meaning of VolunteerThe word “Volunteer”, comes from the Latin word “valo” or “velle”, meaning“hope, determination, or willingness”.
In the western countries, people believe volunteers are the ones who work not for personal benefits, nor are they forced by law to labor, but work for free to improve society and provide charity to others.
The majority of volunteers in some countries are engaged in social and welfare services under local government administration.These include health, education and other welfare services for the disabled, the sick and the aged. The voluntary associations and individual volunteers which keep schools, clinics, hospitals and residential homes functioning are innumerable.Another significant area is the contribution of volunteers at national government level where, for example, many of the national consultative groups, called upon by the move towards democratic governance, usually operate on a voluntary basis.
According to the American Social Work Board, a group of people who are willing to work together to pursue public benefits are called voluntary groups; individuals who participate in the work of these groups are called volunteers; and this kind of group work is called voluntary service.
The Volunteer Association of China puts forward this definition of volunteers: “People who are willing to provide services or assistance to society or to others, not for material gains, but from a sense of conscience, faith and responsibility.” In China, they have different names in different places for volunteers. In Hong Kong we call them “YI GONG (workers of duty)”, and in Taiwan we call them “ZHI GONG (workers of will)”. Today, in China, the development of voluntary services has become a symbol of civilization and social progress. Volunteers can be found in every walk of our lives.
Features of voluntary services(1) They are actions for others freely given. Voluntary service is provided by individuals out of loving hearts. People choose to work for the good of others, free of any compulsion by a third party or outside powers.(2) They are contributions that are non-money-rewarding. People give of their time, skills, resources and kindness to provide assistance to their neighbors, communities and society, without expectation of receiving payment.(3) They are initiated by caring hearts. People help others to create a better society.
“We are convinced that volunteering enjoys wide- range people participation, and the benefits from volunteering encompass all ages, gender, religion, cultures, nationalities or socio- economic status.” Beijing Declaration, International Conference on Voluntary Service, 27–28 May 2002
The Red Cross has long recognized the need for voluntary action within countries where its member societies operate, and enshrined this value in its found-ing statements in the nineteenth century. Thus, many millions of people have worked as Red Cross volunteers. To ensure that National Red Cross societies maintain adequate levels of capacity in key areas (e.g. dealing with local emergencies/ first aid etc.), there exist several programmes to develop the volunteer- based character of the national societies. Some of these programmes are coordinated by the International Federation, while others are the products of local initiatives.
Values associated with volunteerism which canreinforce capacity development include thefollowing: commitment and solidarity value-based programmes belief in collective action for the public good commitment to human rights and gender equity
It is the individual farmer or fisherman… who decides to adopt sustainable cultivation or fishing practices… The active participation of rural people in pursuing sustainability objectives can best be promoted through local community organizations. Such organizations are based on voluntary membership and may include community councils, peasant unions, water users, pastoral groups, workers associations or cooperatives. UNDP/FAO 199612
ParticipationParticipation is not unique to voluntary action, but there is a strong symbiosis between community voluntary action and participation. An instrumental approach implies the use of participation to ensure the better delivery of externally designed and managed programmes. By contrast, participatory programmes can use the empowering nature of participation and its capacity to strengthen the autonomy of a community. Together, working in the same direction
Many people are willing to participate. Why?1. Spiritual Pursuit“A person’s value shall be decided by what he contributes, not by what he obtains,” said Albert Einstein. When volunteers contribute of themselves, they feel they are needed and subsequently rewarded by the praises of others. This is not money, nor material reward, but an internal spiritual value. It gives meaning to life, fills society with warmth and kindness, and encourages volunteers to devote themselves to these activities.
2. Social MissionVoluntary service originates from charity donation. Today’s volunteers carry forward this mission and actively respond to the calling. In many ways they devote themselves to this work and blessings to others around. When volunteers work for the public interest, they not only contribute themselves, but they also establish an active interaction with society. They stimulate people’s sense of duty to society. When they demonstrate a spirit of humanism and service, they also help reduce responsibilities of the government, solve social problems, and they are in fact changing society. Again as Albert Einstein said, “Only in devoting oneself to serving society, human being will discover the meaning of his short and risky life.
3. Knowledge LearningWhen a volunteer serves, he/she is not only helping others, but also learning new knowledge and skills. This will help them mature and build good character. Voluntary service is team work. In the team, volunteers learn how to establish good relationships with others, as well as how to strengthen a spirit of teamwork and effective team coordination. This is especially helpful among young volunteers because they can improve their professional skills in the process of learning good teamwork. They will know society better, understand the theories (which they learned from school) better, and also receive inspiration and education. Today’s voluntary service is becoming more professional and more formal. Before beginning their work of service, volunteers have to receive formal training. This is a very important aspect toward a comprehensive improvement in the quality of voluntary service.
4. Self - fulfilling ValuesThe famous American psychologist Abraham H. Maslow believed that the ultimate goal of life is self- fulfillment. In his definition, self-fulfillment includes caring others and going beyond oneself. Though people seek material gains in their daily lives, their hearts never stop seeking a mere fulfilling sense of personal goodness. To fulfill one’s spiritual needs, to pursue higher personal spiritual level, to develop one’s potentials and to fulfill personal values are perpetual goals of volunteers. Voluntary work not only makes their lives meaningful, also satisfies their spiritual needs and fulfills their personal goals for doing something valuable in life.
5. Life Experience EnhancementDifferent experiences make our lives colorful. Voluntary service, even if it is of short duration, can be delightful and beautiful. Some volunteers have tasted much of the spice of life, and at the same time have received the experience of a life time. The teachers who participated in the Supporting Rural Area Education Program said, “We are touched by the villagers and the villagers also touched us.” As volunteers, they felt deeply the heart-to-heart communication. In order to broaden their sense of life experience and build a more meaningful life, more and more people are joining the team of volunteers
6. Mental Well-beingVoluntary service can help volunteers cultivate a joyful heart and a more active mentality. When caring for and helping others, volunteers’ own mental stress is relieved and more wholesome characters are built. We learned the story of Katherine Pener from an introductory article on American volunteers.Katherine, as a volunteer, counseled cancer patients for 22 years. She writes, “I can guarantee that all the volunteers will feel better emotionally, physically, and mentally, no matter whom you are and what you do. All the volunteers I know are always smiling.” Through serving voluntarily, people build good character of self-respect, self-reliance, and independence, all of which contribute to sound mental health.
The world if full ofcharacters. Story ofHumanity Some forms of volunteerism
Subic Bay Surprisingly the departure of the Americans did not spell doom. Subic Bay was converted into aPhilippines commercial zone largely through the efforts of some 8,000 residents of nearby Olongapo City, under the leadership of their mayor, Richard Gordon, who volunteered to protect and preserve 8 billion dollars worth of facilities and property from looting and destruction. Subic has since been transformed and became a model bases for bases conversion into commercial use Subic Bay, the Philippines‘ continues to be one of the countrys major economic engines with more than 700 investment projects, including the 4th largest shipbuilding facility in the world (Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC)). Currently upgrading its port facilities through the Subic Bay Port Development Project and forging ties with the Clark Special Economic Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga to form the Subic-Clark Corridor via the 45-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, these once bastions of western military might are now being positioned to become the most competitive international service and logistics center in Southeast Asia
Filipinos embrace Hero of the Year,classrooms for poor Cavite City, Philippines (CNN) -- Not many people recognized Efren Peñaflorida as he left the Philippines last fall to attend a Hollywood gala for CNN Heroes. But when Peñaflorida returned from the event as CNNs Hero of the Year, he was greeted by hundreds of screaming fans at the airport in Manila. "The moment we got home, I ... seemed to have become a celebrity," he said Peñaflorida was honored for creating mobile "pushcart classrooms," carts stocked with books, chalkboards and other supplies, that bring education to poor children in the Philippines. Since 1997, he and more than 12,000 teenage volunteers have taught basic reading and writing skills to more than 1,800 children living on the streets. "The award and the title [are] really significant," said Peñaflorida, 29. "It gave me and my co-volunteers an affirmation that what we are doing is a worthy cause."
• CNN quoted him as saying: "Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve. As I always tell my co-volunteers... you are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be."
FILIPINO-AMERICAN midwife was named by media giant CNN Inc. on Sunday as its 2011 Hero of the Year for her leadership of a group helping poor women in Indonesia have healthy pregnancies and births. "Every babys first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love. Every mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth could be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet,"
Pitong Pinoy’ – The 7 Modern Day Filipino Heroes 1. Alexis Belonio – He created a cooking stove designed to help poor people have access to hot meals.
2. Jean Enriquez – She is the head of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women- Asia Pacific, which vigorously fights sextourism, the mail-order bride trade, pornography, and sexual exploitation.
3. Jay Jaboneta – His advocacy “Zamboanga Funds for Little Kids” hasraised money to buy bright new yellow boats for kids in Layag Layag,Zamboanga who had to swim to get to school everyday.
4. Tomas Leonor –She organized“StepJuan” andvolunteered to travelwithout any motoredtransportation toraise funds forcancer-strickenchildren at thePhilippine Children’sMedical Center.
5. Heidi Mendoza – Shemade headlines and risked her life to exposesupposed corruption in the military, allegedly led by ex-Armed Forces of the Philippines comptroller Carlos Garcia, Heidi Mendoza photo by www.cfamedia.org
6. Anna Oposa – Sheinitiated the “Save thePhilippine Seas”campaign to combat themassive coral reefdestruction.
7. Tzarina Saniel –She collects andpreserves old Filipinobooks, even originalmanuscripts from JoseRizal, in her attempt tokeep Pinoy literaturealive..
Presently, there are more than twenty thousand cooperatives operating in the country with a total membership of more than seven million people - farmers, fisherfolk, women, workers, lumads, small vendors, people with disabilities, teachers, government employees, the military, and even former commanders of the Moro National Liberation Front – mostly people from poor and disadvantaged sectors who believe in cooperativism and seek to build a better life for themselves and their families through association and cooperation. These people have pooled together their meager resources and harnessed their collective potentials and experiences to help one another and make theirCong. Jose R. Ping-Ay cooperatives work for the common good.COOP NATCCO Starting with a pooled fund of a few hundred pesos,Partylist these cooperatives have grown and prospered through self-help, mutuality and service to the members as their prime objective. Presently, the country’s more than twenty thousand cooperatives have combined assets of PHP 158.6 billion.
Countries that have a strong cooperative sector report significant contributions of cooperatives to their economies. In Japan, agricultural cooperatives generate outputs of USD 90 billion, with 91% of farmers being members of cooperatives. In 2007, Japan’s consumer cooperatives had a total turnover of USD 34 billion and a food market share of 6%. In South Korea, 90% of farmers are members of agricultural cooperatives which have outputs of USD 11 billion. Korea’s fishery cooperatives have a Cong. Jose R. Ping-Ay market share of 71%. In Vietnam, cooperatives contribute 8.6% of the country’s gross domestic product.The Philippine cooperative sector is still a growing sector. Yet the country’scooperatives were able to contribute 4.2% of the country’s gross regionaldomestic product in 2007, contributing PHP 53.1 billion to the Philippineeconomy. Over my decades of cooperative service and volunteerism,
The Empowerment Budget of 2013 • On behalf of your constituents, I ask you to examine and thereafter approve this proposed P2.006-trillion National Budget for 2013. • The proposed Budget is 10.5 percent higher than this year’s budget of P1.816 trillion. The expenditure program is consistent with our macroeconomic and fiscal aspiration for the next fiscal year and in the medium-term. Above that, this budget is a crucial step in our continuing pursuit of good governance—governance that will give our impoverished countrymen the opportunity to lift themselves out of their situations; governance that will ensure that this country moves forward together. The idea has been clear from day one: Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap. • We can succeed in this goal only if government continues to empower the people. This means enabling them to take control of their own lives. It means listening to them intently, and consulting with them as regards the services that affect their day-to-day lives. It means recognizing their power over their own government. It means giving them back that power, and, together with them, shaping the destiny of our nation.
• The Department of Agriculture aims to increase the farmers income and to reduce poverty in the Philippines by harnessing the countrys agricultural potential towards economic growth. Through its Medium Term Philippine Development Plan,• it plans to develop over two million hectares of land to use for agribusiness purposes and to reduce the necessary costs required to enhance productivity, to make the logistical processes of the agriculture industry more efficient, and to effectively distribute the resulting agribusiness commodities.• The Department also implements a number of Administrative Orders and Memos regarding the utilization and the development of the Philippines agricultural sector.
Agricultural Development• Agricultural Development. We will continue to pursue full self- sufficiency in terms of food production next year to support the larger demands of our growing population, as well as to maximize the agricultural resources already at our disposal. More importantly, however, food self-sufficiency will decrease our nation’s dependence on the importation of grains and give local farmers more opportunities to contribute to the local economy and to their own financial success.• We have provided the Department of Agriculture (DA) with a budget of P73.6 billion in 2013, which is 19.9 percent higher than the current year’s P61.4 billion. Of this amount, P15.3 billion has been allocated for our banner agricultural programs. This amount will go towards helping our farmers improve their incomes and produce 20 million metric tons (MT) of rice next year—the amount we need to attain rice self-sufficiency, as well as 8.4 million MT of corn, 5.4 million MT of fishery products, and 3.13 million MT of coconut-based products.
Agricultural Development• This Administration will allot P7.4 billion for our banner rice program, while P1.5 billion and P1.75 billion will go to our corn and coconut development programs, respectively. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will receive P4.6 billion, a sizeable increase from the P3.0-billion budget given them in 2012.• Irrigation development will receive an allocation of P27.3 billion. These funds will be used for new irrigation systems for 61,215 hectares of agricultural land, for the restoration of irrigation systems over 42,219 hectares, and the rehabilitation of systems over 112,699 hectares. Farm- to-market roads will also receive an allocation of P7.0 billion, which will translate to 750 kilometers worth of roads.
This is why we have crafted a budget of empowermentThis Budget pursues empowerment by creating more opportunities for public participation in governance. It invests significantly in the people’s capabilities by prioritizing funding for public services that provide jobs, educate our youth, ensure a healthier citizenry, and empower each Filipino to participate in economic activity.Needless to say, this is not a budget that government crafted in an enclosed room that will work only for the benefit of a select few; this is the budget that the Filipino people entrusted to us; and this is the budget that will be the framework of our efforts to give our people a government that truly works for them. With that, let me share with you the principles and strategies that guided us in crafting this budget
Workshop?How can the DA strengthen and sustain volunteerism?
What are the issues and challenges confronting volunteering?
“At the heart of volunteerism are the ideals of service and solidarity and the belief that together we can make the world better. In that sense, we can say that volunteerism is the ultimate expression of what the United Nations is all about.” Kofi Annan Secretary-General, United Nations
Sources:• 2002 UN Volunteers Volunteerism and Capacity Development• Sha Cordingley. Strengthening and sustaining volunteering in Australia 2000• Volunteers and Volunteering. Beijing 2008• Mark A. Hager,Jeffrey L. Brudney. Balancing Act: The Challenges and Benefits of Volunteerism. December 2004• Beth De Long, The Meaning of Volunteering in Canada (2005)
Sources:• Arthur Gillette. A (Very) Short History of Volunteering 26 December 1999• CNN: 2009; 2011