Weekends are precious to me – especially if they’re free :) Often it seems to be a hit or miss – work could suddenly pop up or, like what usually happens, I’m too busy during the week to think and plan ahead of what I could do.
I try my best though and at this point, I really have to thank social media :) I spent the last two Saturdays volunteering thanks to people getting in touch with me through Facebook.
This Saturday, September 14, was spent at Barangay Sto. Domingo in Quezon City. Gawad Kalinga (GK) and the GK Youth QC hold a monthly event for the community there. Basic activities are holding workshops with kids, a clean-up drive, and painting various facilities that need a little retouching.
I highly recommend it as a great way to spend a Saturday morning. Here are few pictures, mostly of the children. One of my take-aways is, I’m starting to really like children :O
Because there were only three of us volunteers, there was much improvising to be done :) We all had to sing at least one song, something I was totally unprepared for. The kids were all game though. No lack of kids wanting to sing, dance, or rap.
Cutest siblings ever. Though if you ask them, they don’t like pink.
Resident boy band. Name: Lord, Patawad.
Fliptop battles. “Ihi ka ba? Kasi pag kasama kita, kinikilig ako.”
Fliptop battles. “Baboy ka ba? Kasi pag birthday ko lagi kang andyan.” Also, look at the kids’ reactions. Look at the babies :)) Priceless.
Solved a fight between these two siblings partly by asking them to pose for a picture. This 3-year old is smizing. Photo taken by a little girl who kept on insisting practicing taking pictures.
Boodle fight for lunch!
Basically it was taking care of children for a whole morning, and cleaning up the streets as a break in between. I wish I could’ve stayed longer though, especially after hearing one of the youth volunteers from the barangay share that some of the residents actually feel a divide between them and the volunteers.
Unexpectedly, the divide was caused by a feeling that the volunteers only come there to help – they don’t come there to get to know them or to build personal relationships. It makes sense, if you’re trying to make a change and there are people trying to help you, wouldn’t you want it to be a two-way street too? This is the part where volunteering should be more than a one-day, weekender thing – which is why I really look up to people from Gawad Kalinga and other NGOs who’ve made helping their living.
I hope I can come back to Barangay Santa Domingo :) Your presence actually means more to them than we think it does.