Come and volunteer in Tacloban City in the Philippines and work in an orphanage supporting the vulnerable that have been further affected by the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan. In this developing country, thousands of impoverished children grow up in orphanages, as their parents simply cannot afford to care for them. In effect they are children’s homes rather than orphanages although this is the term used locally. Most of the orphanages are understaffed but try hard to provide the basic needs of shelter, food, education, healthcare and clothing for all the children in their care, including keeping in contact with family members when it is appropriate for them to do so.
Some of the children are emotionally or developmentally delayed because of little adult interaction. Often, the only source of their basic emotional security is from volunteers who provide affection, spend time with the children and improve their social, physical and emotional development. The children were evacuated by the typhoon and a couple of their shelters were destroyed and so rebuilding work is taking place. The project staff and children need your support are mainly privately funded and they are seeking international volunteer help, as local people are so busy trying to rebuild their own lives, to continue to provide ongoing care.
Why choose this project?
There are simply not enough staff to meet all the children’s needs beyond basic food, shelter, and sanitary living conditions. The staff are often too stretched to spend time interacting with the children. Whilst they are fed and cleaned, babies can be left alone in a crib without much attention or interaction, missing the attention they require to learn to walk, talk, develop motor and social skills, and learn to read and count. Your time spent in one of these orphanages will be invaluable to the lives of each of these children especially when additional local help has been stretched because of the challenges facing local families following the typhoon.
Role of the volunteer
Young children need constant interaction for their physical and social development, and your time spent playing and communicating with them aids that process when no one else is available. As volunteers you can help them by providing the children with homework and English (one of their national languages) assistance. You should be flexible and willing to provide arts and crafts activities, carry out social education, sports and games depending on the needs of the project and your strengths.
Volunteers need real vigour and enthusiasm to bring life and fresh experiences to the children. Feeding, bathing and changing diapers will be required, as is simply spending time, having fun and being patient with the younger children. The older children will need you to be patient and understanding when they are tackling their homework.
No specific skills are required but any experience of working with children in any capacity is always an advantage. Volunteers should note that there are strict rules about photographing children. These are in place to protect the children and we ask that all volunteers adhere to this policy. All volunteers will be required to have a telephone interview and you will be asked to send your CV/ resume before being accepted onto this project. This project is subject to government rules and therefore a blood test, urine analysis and chest x-ray are mandatory.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To provide care and support for children in a children’s home
You want to carry out meaningful work to help those who are less fortunate
To help improve the children’s development
About the Location
Tacloban is a city with a population of over 300,000 and is located on the island of Leyte, about an hour by air southeast of Manila. Tacloban is a historic site, the beachfront city liberated the Philippines in 1944 from Japan. The local language is called Waray-Waray, but English is widely spoken making your placement very easy! Tacloban City is not a popular tourist destination and is a city for everyday life in the Philippines. Following Typhoon Haiyan, when there was widespread devastation there was an influx of visitors helping with the recovery process. Many things have returned to normal but there is still evidence of the Typhoon and people’s lives are still impacted. Here you and your family can gain an insight into the realities of living and working in a location that has recovered from nature’s wrath. If you want to travel further afield, there are many islands offering beautiful beaches and diving opportunities, and flights to neighbouring destinations in Southeast Asia are very cheap making it an attractive destination to begin your travels.
All volunteers stay with local families in the same small community on the outskirts of Tacloban City. Since the families are all used to receiving volunteers, they are very welcoming and really try to make each volunteer feel like part of their family. The fact that all volunteers live within 2 minutes walking distance of each other makes it really easy to meet up with fellow volunteers in the evening. The homestays are also a short walk away from the local community centre, which doubles as a base for volunteers. Although the homestays are generally quite basic, all have electricity and running water.
What to do in your spare time
Aside from spending your free time playing basketball in your homestay community, there’s plenty more to keep you active in the area. You might want to join the local gym (which has hot showers!) at the astrodome, there’s also a climbing wall and a badminton court in the downtown area. If you like surfing, one of the Philippines best surfing destinations is just 2-3 hours away in the town of Guiuan.
If you just want to relax, The Philippines is famous for it’s white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters. There are a number of beaches close by to choose from, including Tadjow Beach and Tanuan Beach.
You can even go on a long weekend trip to the stunning island of Bohol and Malapascua. These are popular trips to go on and many volunteers tend to group together and arrange a trip which is a great way to make friends whilst you are away.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2 – 26 weeks
- Cost: £865/$1514 for 2 weeks
£105/$184 for each week thereafter
- Requirements: age 18+
- Location: Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines
- Project activities: Feed children, change nappies, arrange activities, play games, provide nurturing and attention, and assist the staff
- 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: Project open all year round, apart from Christmas and Easter
- Arrival day: Saturday
What is included
- Accommodation: Single or shared room in a homestay (according to availability)
- Food: 2 meals per day – Breakfast and Dinner
- Airport pickup and drop off from Tacloban City
- Training: Pre-departure pack, on-site orientation and project induction provided
- Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinators, access to office in Tacloban City
- Excursions: Staff may be able to help plan weekend excursions but they are stretched at the moment due to the demands of coping with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
- 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.