Volunteer in Asia and help improve the futures of abused women in the Philippines, who have suffered abuse and abandonment. Domestic abuse, sexual crime and abandonment are, unfortunately, common in the Philippines and can often leave many women feeling alone and vulnerable. As a result, a safe haven for women filing cases against their former partners, or who have been left without financial or emotional support, was created to protect and care for them. In this centre, women live a communal lifestyle (sometimes with their children), whilst social workers assess them and process their cases. At the same time, the centre teaches them techniques to help empower their lives.
What’s more, this project location, Tacloban, was badly affected by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. Fortunately the centre itself, was largely unaffected by the typhoon, but women at the centre are still connected to this tragedy as their family, friends, acquaintances and communities were affected.
Why choose this project?
The centre is generally underfunded and its workers do not always have enough time to offer support to all of the women. Volunteers assist the staff by presenting themselves as strong, independent influences and offering numerous methods of empowering the lives of the women. At the same time, social workers working on the cases could benefit from international points of view and volunteer’s assessments of the development of women on their respective programs. Some of these women are victims of terrible crimes, such as rape and assault. As a result, volunteers must also, at all times, be able to provide emotional support for the women.
Role of the volunteer
Volunteers who want to help improve the futures of abused women in the Philippines will pass on any specialist skills to the women, teaching them a wide variety of topics to help enrich their lives and empower them for when they would finally leave the centre. Volunteers will also offer recreational activities to break up the daily routine and to take the women’s minds off the realities of their past lives and the typhoon’s destruction. Volunteers will be asked to prepare a plan/calendar of activities that they would like to run with the women before joining the project.
The volunteer will act as a mentor, using their actions and activities to encourage the women to be strong and independent. Volunteers may also have to act as an emotional confidant, offering advice to women based on their given situations. Previous livelihood programs and skills, taught by past volunteers, still continue to be practised today. Volunteers may assist with livelihood projects, such as baking, crafts, promoting women’s rights and team building activities. Additionally, volunteers can also create fun activities, teach music, dance and/or play games to help break up the mundane routines of the women.
This project is only open to females as the centre is a female-only environment. Experience of working with vulnerable women, women’s groups and/or criminal justice is a plus. Counsellors are highly sought. Those who are really interested, but do not have any formal qualifications, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, which will involve providing your CV/resume and possibly an interview. Volunteers must be well motivated and able to show initiative; as some of the time they will be working independently. Volunteers must also be flexible and able to deal with tough situations, including lack of electricity at the centre.
You will be asked to send your CV/resume before being accepted onto this project. A blood test, urine analysis and chest x-ray are mandatory.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To help enrich and empower the lives of vulnerable women
To teach specialist skills and encourage women to be independent
Use your skills and experience to make a real difference to the women’s futures
About the Location
The project is based in Tacloban City which was declared a disaster zone when 2013 Typhoon Haiyan hit and not only killed local residents but also destroyed homes, livelihoods and community spaces. Tacloban is located on the island of Leyte. Tacloban is a historic World War II site, where American General Douglas MacArthur liberated the Philippines in 1944 from Japan. It has a population of over 300,000 and English is widely spoken. Volunteer and gain an insight into the realities of living and working in a challenging location while appreciating the good nature of the Filipino people. For those of you that have time, take an extra week or two and visit some of the beautiful areas unaffected by the typhoon and put income into the economy to continue to support the people of this wonderful country.
For the duration of the project, all volunteers will stay with friendly local families who welcome Kaya volunteers with open arms. You can be assured that they will make you feel part of their community and family. These families are based in the same small community on the borders of Tacloban City and you will be staying within a 2-minute walk of other homestays. This means you can easily meet up with other like-minded volunteers and spend time together in the evenings. These homestays are also walking distance from the local community centre, which is also used as a base for volunteers. The homestays have electricity, toilets and running water, but the setup is generally quite basic.
What to do in your spare time
There are plenty of things to do in your spare time over in the Philippines. If you want to relax then you could take a trip to some of The Philippines’ famous white-sand beaches, complete with crystal clear waters. A great suggestion would be Tadjow Beach and Tanuan Beach that are quite close to your accommodation. You could also venture out to the town of Guiuan to sample some of the Philippines best surfing destinations!
Joining the local gym at the astrodome could be a great way to keep active whilst you’re volunteering abroad. Another bonus is that most gyms have hot showers too! In the downtown area, there is also a badminton court and a climbing wall that you could enjoy with other volunteers. However, if you want to stay closer to home then you can play a game basketball in your homestay community with the locals and other volunteers alike.
At the weekend, you could go on a 2-3 day trip to visit the spectacular islands of Bohol and Malapascua. These are common trips for volunteers to go on in groups which is a great way to bond and make friends.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 4 – 26 weeks
- Cost: £1095/$1916 for 4 weeks
£102/$178 for each week thereafter
- Requirements: age 18+
- Location: Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines
- Project activities: skills workshops, counselling sessions, women’s rights sessions
- Working hours: At least 4 hours per day, Monday – Friday. If you wish to work extra, please ask an advisor about other options available to maximise your time.
- Project Availability: All year round, apart from the Christmas to New Year period and a few days over Easter
- Arrival day: Saturday
What is included
- Accommodation: Single or shared room in a homestay with mosquito net & clean drinking water
- Food: 2 meals per day – Breakfast and dinner
- Airport pickup and drop off from Tacloban Airport
- Training: Pre-departure pack, on-site orientation and project induction provided
- Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinators
- Excursions: Staff may be able to help plan weekend excursions
- Fundraising guide
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check: US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies); all other nationalities must provide local police check.
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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