After nearly three and a half years, Australian volunteers have once again touched down in the Philippines, signaling a rekindling of hands-on partnership in Manila and Camarines Sur. The shift back to in-person assistance comes after the Australian Volunteers Program adapted to remote operations amid the global health crisis.
A Warm Welcome in Quezon City
Gathered at the B Hotel, Dr. Moya Collett of the Australian Embassy heralded the volunteers’ return, underscoring Australia’s robust tradition of volunteering that has seen significant participation since the new millennium.
“I am excited that we have resumed our deployment of Australian Volunteers to the Philippines, starting with Peng, Judith, and Lydia,” Dr. Collett stated, emphasizing the continuity of a long-standing legacy.
Volunteers Making a Difference
- Peng-Sim Eng: Stepping into a pivotal role at the Stepping Stone Foundation, Eng will serve as a Behaviour Management Coach, guiding Filipino educators in crafting effective strategies for children with unique learning needs.
- Judith Berghan: Aligning with the Development Action for Women Network (DAWN), Berghan aims to fortify the organization’s strategic direction, focusing on the upliftment of returned migrant workers and their families.
- Lydia Jovero: Returning to her birthplace, Jovero joins the Local Government Unit of Canaman in Camarines Sur as a Sustainable Livelihood Officer, committed to advancing enduring community prosperity.
Fostering Sustainable Progress
The Australian Volunteers Program continues its mission, pairing Australian expertise with Philippine initiatives, in alignment with the Australian Government’s vision for nurturing grassroots development.
Cultivating Community and Sensitivity
The program’s success is mirrored in the words of PNVSCA’s Deputy Executive Director, who reflected on the transformative outcomes of the collaboration: “Our partnership with the Australian Embassy, through the Australian Volunteers program, has seen lives improve and communities transformed.”
The sentiment of shared growth and mutual understanding was also echoed by NEDA’s Assistant Secretary: “Australian Volunteers can help our Philippine organizations foster an environment of cultural sensitivity and understanding.”
The reinstatement of the Australian Volunteers in the Philippines marks a continuation of collaborative efforts and volunteerism between the two nations.