Apr 21, 2020

Project update April 2020

Sahira in the field
Sahira in the field

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I hope that you are all able to keep safe wherever you are in the World.

Covid 19: Due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) currently implemented by the Government, we have had to suspend all of our operations. I am not permitted to leave my home and no staff are able to go to the office due to the restrictions. Three volunteers have elected to stay in the office but are only permitted outside for essential items.

For this report, we will give you the story of Sahirah, who after four months in her placement, wrote about her experience of becoming a KI Volunteer.

VOLUNTEERISM: SELF-NOURISHMENT

Young. Fierce. Brave. I am Sahirah  from  Marawi City. 23 years old and finished my studies with a course of Bachelor of Science in Community Development Without my friends’ knowledge, I was suffering from severe depression in my last three years in College. The reason was my family’s expectation which caused me so much pressure. I was forced to love doing field work though it contradicted my dreams. “Field work was never my strength” I told to myself.

After my graduation day, the depression I felt increased. My family was expecting me to gain better work which caused me for not having good nights. Wet pillows weren’t unusual. I was at the point of going outside my room for ablution purposes only. I even forgot what sour, bitter and sweet taste like. I lose about 3 kilo for a month only. With the reason of showing them my worth and for me to get from my room out, my sister encouraged me to do volunteerism. Coincidentally, Kapamagogopa Incorporated was open for volunteers. There was a lot of questions bothering me those times. “Like seriously? Me? Volunteer? I’m sick of doing field work”. I passed my papers at KI office personally in the month of February and received text message from the project office saying I was qualified to be interviewed and attend written exam in the month of May. In all fairness, I passed the interview. On the following month, I received message from the project officer again for being qualified for the next step of KI hiring process.  I qualified to be part of KI 1-year Volunteering Program. After a month of training, I and one of my co-volunteers were assigned in EcoWEB, Inc. It is a National NGO which is also engaged in Peacebuilding and Humanitarian work same as KI does. There was huge adjustment done by me for being assigned in a new organization. I was assigned in Cotabato during the disaster happened. Earthquake almost destroyed the province of Cotabato. As I stepped out from the car, my tears fell down. I just didn’t know what come to my mind why I unconsciously cried after seeing community people living in tents made of tarpaulins and sticks. No foods and water. No shelter. No rug. The only thing they had is their selves.

Houses were devastated. Three-storey houses became ash. Luckily, there was response done by my host organization and I was part of the team. My contribution was not that much huge however I could feel that what I was doing was a big help for them. Their smile is what pushes me extend more help and do field work with heart as it was taught to me by Kapamagogopa Incorporated. Their thank yous rubbed out my negative stress. I am now falling in love with doing field work. I am now voluntarily engaging myself in responding at any disaster. as a volunteer humanitarian worker under KI, one of my objects now is to see smiles in people’s faces. I am not hoping and dreaming for appreciation and honour for I believe god loves those who do good. What I want now is to spread happiness. I may not be able to make everyone happy but at least, I can make anyone happy.

There are few friends asking me the reason why I am just a volunteer when in fact according to them, there are a lot of opportunities out there where I can apply and possibly receive more money. Well, the only response I tell them is “I don’t need money. I don’t help because of money. I help because apart from it’s our obligation as a human, I just love doing things without expecting any in returns and I love seeing people happy”. We have to remember the idea that when somebody has something negative to say about us, it’s often they have nothing positive to say about their selves.

With these things, I don’t regret that I chose to enrol BS-Community Development and I am so thankful of not backing out from KI’s offer as it opened more opportunities more than I expect. With it, I meet new friends; gain knowledge and skills; I am able to sightsee my veiled flairs and I was assigned in Ecoweb which really taught me philosophies. I just volunteered for four months as of this month of December however I feel like I have done many things. In addition to that, because of volunteering, my emotion was diverted. The depression I felt was lessen. As to my family’s expectation from me, they enlightened me that they are not pressuring me. They just wanted goodthings for me. Moreover, what really makes me happy now is the idea that my family now is the one encouraging meto promote volunteerism through telling me “You can earned blessing by doing good deeds and helping the people”.

Fieldwork wasn’t my strength, but that was just my thought. I did it; and I will do it for god’s sake.

Thank you!!!

 Once again thank you for supporting KI

Stay Safe

Mariam

Jan 2, 2020

Project Report January 2020

Bidaya (left) working on Social Enterprise Project
Bidaya (left) working on Social Enterprise Project

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Project Update:

As we enter a new calendar year, I would like to give my warm wishes and a big thank you to all of you who helped our program. In 2019, KI volunteers helped to improve the lives of 14,978 people and they contributed more than 20,000 hours of work on Peace and Development issues. Through your donations, you are helping to improve the lives of young people from Mindanao and to reduce some of the factors that are drivers for conflict here in the Southern Philippines.

Our current batch of 10 young women and men will soon be halfway through their placement year. Here is the story of one of them.

Bidaya's Story

Bidaya is 23 years old from Lanao del Norte. She graduated with a BS in Education and is a licenced teacher. She planned to work in the Department of Education. “Although I am a licensed teacher, it is hard for me to be employed in a government agency. (due to corrupt practices ed) I waited more than a year to for the result of my application but unfortunately, I never received any response. My friends invited me to apply to Kapamagogopa Inc. At first, I was not interested because it might not work for me however, I still submitted my application. When I was in KI Office, one of the staff explained what is KI, the works of KI, and the processes in the screening of the aspirant volunteers. It made me think that this is not an ordinary volunteering work and that made me interested.

Those explanations enlightened me to pursue my application in KI. I was able to pass the written and interview process, the one day assessment with mixed emotions and of course the one month capacity development training. I feel so blessed and proud when we were introduced as 13th batch volunteer of KI (MASAKAW BATCH). I was deployed in KI and became a project support staff in one of their projects. I assist on the Social Enterprise Project to Internally Displaced Persons. I was able to learn how to interact with high personality people and meet different NGO workers.

 I am very thankful because of the learnings, knowledge and skilled given by this organization. It is not about the allowance/salaries received but because of the contributions and dimensions that they have had shared to us.”

Oct 4, 2019

10 New Volunteers begin their Peacebuilding Journey

Selmiyah in center with blue hijab
Selmiyah in center with blue hijab

Dear friends and supporters,

Project Update
In the last few months, with your help, we have been able to train another group of young women and men to become advocates for peace. Our 13th Batch of peacebuilding Volunteers began their placements on August 1st 2019. This batch consisting of 7 Women and 3 Men have been placed in various communities in Northern Mindanao and Northern Cebu. Examples of the areas of work are: Assisting in the protection programs for displaced people; helping to empower women's groups in Lanao; Basic Child Protection. We will bring you their stories over the coming year.

Selmiyah's Story
One of our new volunteers is Selmiyah.  We are proud to say that she is the first KI volunteer to be placed at Ranao Women for Children Resource Center (RWCRC) Inc based in Lanao del Norte. RWCRC are women led, Christian Organization helping to better the lives of Women and Children.

Selmiyah is working as a support staff to the project coordinator on Basic Child protection program both in Lanao areas. She has already assisted in Basic Child Protection and Psychosocial First Aid Training and the Establishment of Information and service delivery Network (ISDN) on Adolescent Health and Development (AHD). We are sure that she will continue help her organization to better the lives of children affected by conflict in Lanao.


Thank you again for your support

Mariam

 
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