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Eddie1

Volunteering in the Philippines.

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Eddie1    259

Within about 3 months from now I will have left my home and job here in the UK and finally arrived in the Phils to continue the next stage in my life as an expat.  I guess like many people we wonder what we will do when that day finally arrives and how we combat potential boredom, after all when you are retired I am guessing all days just feel like a Sunday?  

I have a few interests that I would like to explore, I am a poor swimmer so would like to spend time improving my swimming and then hopefully take Scuba lessons and enjoy diving in what must surely be some of the best dive sites in the world.   I also have an interest in Martial arts and that has been my main hobby here in the UK for the past 20 years or so and I am looking into the possibility of learning the traditional Philippine martial art of Escrima/Arnis to give me another time occupying hobby which I might be able to infuse with my own knowledge of Jujitsu.

However, above all else I would like to spend some of my time in a Volunteering capacity, it doesn't have to be immediately, I will have plenty to occupy myself on my arrival and for some considerable time afterwards but eventually I would like to volunteer my time to help others (by that I mean Pinoy, not driving the forum members home from a heavy session at the 'Why Not' bar, Lol.).

So, for the forum members that are already doing this type of thing or to others that have had previous experience in this field.. How do you start?  How do you get your foot on the ladder?  Is it through local churches or even a Rotary Club type of organisation?   What are your experiences? How do/did you get involved?

For me personally I want a hands on type of voluntary work, maybe (but not exclusively) helping out at an orphanage or assisting children/adults that have sight/hearing/verbal problems where they could just do with an extra pair of hands at no cost. I am not looking to build a project from scratch like forum member Bruce has done with his excellent work on Samar but just to give my time and assistance. It doesn't matter what island it would be on, I will be starting off living in Dumaguete as I have stayed there previously and have a few friends down that way including some of our own forum members, admittedly if I could find what I am looking for on Negros Oriental that would be a bonus.

So, over to you guys and girls, what information or ideas do you have?

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mogo51    4,531

Good luck with the next stage of your life Eddie, I am sure you will enjoy the Philippines.  You are going to a good spot in Dumaguete, with some great forum members down there who will make you welcome.  They hold regular gatherings and I am sure you will join in.

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Dave Hounddriver    19,121
3 hours ago, Eddie1 said:

eventually I would like to volunteer my time to help others

I don't see too many instances where a foreigner volunteering his time is appreciated.  There are lots of people here with time, its money or things the want to see foreigners volunteering.  I do see a few foreigners here as preachers or missionaries so if you are interested in that kind of volunteer work, where you supply time AND money, then I know it works.

Quite seriously, the ones who would appreciate your time more than the locals are the foreigners who are sick or incapacitated and get little or no help from the locals or their fellow expats.  My experience, as I ONLY have time to donate and no money, is that foreigners in hospitals or home in sick beds appreciate a visit and any help you can give.  The locals usually have friends and family to take care of them so all they want from us foreigners is to pay the bill.  The expats who know they will die here have almost zero support system.  The help they get is "why don't you go home?"

It will be great to see you in Dumaguete.  Looking forward to it.

 

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Jack Peterson    15,234
3 hours ago, Eddie1 said:

However, above all else I would like to spend some of my time in a Volunteering capacity,

 Eddie, I for one Applaud you but and today I will hate this But I was quite astounded when I did some Research, that you Actually need a Special Visa for Volunteer work, How Crazy is this?....http://www.philippine-embassy.de/bln/images/ConsularSection/VisaServices/pdf/information on the issuance of 47_a__2_ special non immigrant visa to foreign volunteers 11 august 2010.pdf

 For me, I would Contact the City Hall when in Dumaguete and talk to them about Volunteer work, They will be able to Point you in the right Direction.

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JJReyes    4,385

I know someone who started the "Center for Possibilities Foundation" to help special needs children and adults. Philippine society considers such children as a curse from God. So they keep them hidden or worse, locked up in a cage. There is no government funding, but the group tries to help by educating parents. The goal is to make special needs children and adults semi-independent or even productive members of society, and to make them accepted members of the community.

If you google "Dolores Cheng" and "Center for Possibilities Foundation" there should be several articles about their work. I have seen her interviewed by CNN Philippines.

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AlwaysRt    2,802
2 hours ago, Jack Peterson said:

 Eddie, I for one Applaud you but and today I will hate this But I was quite astounded when I did some Research, that you Actually need a Special Visa for Volunteer work, How Crazy is this?....http://www.philippine-embassy.de/bln/images/ConsularSection/VisaServices/pdf/information on the issuance of 47_a__2_ special non immigrant visa to foreign volunteers 11 august 2010.pdf

 For me, I would Contact the City Hall when in Dumaguete and talk to them about Volunteer work, They will be able to Point you in the right Direction.

I second this as it has been my understanding that even volunteering is considered 'a non-paid work position' by the BI and is not allowed on a Visitor Visa. Sounds a bit crazy to start with but if you think about it in terms of nursing. New nurses here work as unpaid volunteers/interns for 1 to 3 years before getting hired for pay. Imagine how bad thing would be for them if foreign nurses retired here and volunteered a few days a week.

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mogo51    4,531

Good point you raise AlwaysRT. Sad it is like it is - but all we can do is play the cards they deal.

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Jack Peterson    15,234
9 minutes ago, mogo51 said:

Good point you raise AlwaysRT. Sad it is like it is - but all we can do is play the cards they deal.

 Absolutely!

 

20 minutes ago, AlwaysRt said:

Imagine how bad thing would be for them if foreign nurses retired here and volunteered a few days a week.

 Exactly but I can't see that happening as the Medical side of things seem to be Taboo for us (The Foreigner) 

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AlwaysRt    2,802
1 hour ago, Jack Peterson said:

Exactly but I can't see that happening as the Medical side of things seem to be Taboo for us (The Foreigner) 

Yup, I was just using that as an example to help 'us' understand where such a crazy sounding (the 1st time you hear volunteering is considered working) rule might legitimately come from.

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intrepid    2,122
3 hours ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

Quite seriously, the ones who would appreciate your time more than the locals are the foreigners who are sick or incapacitated and get little or no help from the locals or their fellow expats.  My experience, as I ONLY have time to donate and no money, is that foreigners in hospitals or home in sick beds appreciate a visit and any help you can give.  The locals usually have friends and family to take care of them so all they want from us foreigners is to pay the bill.  The expats who know they will die here have almost zero support system.  The help they get is "why don't you go home?"

I think Dave has hit on a great idea here.  I'm sure this is not what Eddie was thinking about when wanting to do some volunteering in the Philippines. However, Dave's points are good and I'm sure there are as less here who would be willing to help than there are needs.  These needs may be as simple as a visit or help in contacting someone from their home country.  If stuck in a hospital these simple needs could make a huge difference to that person.  This is not nursing or taking a paid or volunteer position from anyone.  The issue I see is how to learn when a expat is in the hospital.  I'm sure there is a way.

 

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