Like the buko or coconut, the experiences of the people in Cebu are fruits of life that need to be shared. From the inspirations behind the smiles to the struggle you see in the eyes, on #ceBUKOnfessions, it’s all about getting close and personal. For this week, we have a person who decided to take another step forward to change people’s lives.
“A lot of people criticize, a lot of people talk, but very few go out and do something about it.” Jilly, founder of Volunteer in Cebu, is certainly not one of those people. While many movements are dedicated to one project, Volunteer in Cebu connects people who want to volunteer to different projects targeted towards “bringing help and empowerment to children [from different areas] and their teachers, be it their parents who are their first teachers, or their school teachers, or other people have a stake in shaping their future.” We decided to spend a few minutes of our time to get to know the personal experiences that culminated in the birth of such a unique organization.
1.) What’s the most memorable moment that really drove home how important volunteering is?
Our first volunteering event post Bohol earthquake. We were expecting 35 volunteers, over 150 showed up on the day and we've always had a steady stream of volunteers coming after. That's when we realized that a lot of people do want to help but just don't know where or how.
2.) Among all the volunteers you met, who was the most inspiring? Why?
That's a tough one. Everyone has inspired us in some way or another. Every time we have an event, there's always a lot who stand out, those who make extra effort. There's too many of them to mention!
3.) What were the most heartbreaking conversations you had with people you were trying to help?
It was a child that went to school without breakfast and lunch, and in the middle of the day, the teacher found the child curled up in a fetal position in a corner of the classroom because his stomach hurts so much. It wasn't the Bohol earthquake, it wasn't Yolanda, it wasn't Mother Nature that made the child hungry, it was people not caring enough.
4.) What conversations were the most enlightening?
It's not conversations, it's actions that enlighten. A lot of people criticize, a lot of people talk, but very few go out and do something about it.
5.) What were the most joyful moments you had in volunteering?
The children’s faces when they see us coming, and I'm sure the other volunteers feel the same way, we feel like Santa Claus!
Photo by Novee D'Praise Fegarido
Graphic layout by Samantha Solidum