Earlier this month, I have been accepted into a three-month volunteering program called the International Citizen Service (ICS) Youth Action. The program is an overseas volunteering program for the young people ages 18 to 25. I applied to the program thinking I'll have the chance to volunteer overseas as it's originally a six-month program called Global Xchange where a team of Filipino and British volunteers will spend their time in improving selected areas in the United Kingdom and the Philippines (or another developing country) for three months each. It turns out that Global Xchange is now the International Citizen Service or ICS. The ICS has two programs: Youth Xchange and Youth Action. The Youth Xchange program is what I thought I was applying for. However, it has just ended, and I was shortlisted for the Youth Action.
The Youth Action program of the ICS only lasts half as much as the Youth Exchange program. Unlike the later, the Philippine volunteers will not go to the UK. instead, it's only the British volunteers that'll be coming to the country. The catch is, despite the Philippine volunteers not being able to fly off to do volunteer work in the UK, there will be more areas where the volunteers will be working in here in the Philippines. In my cycle's case, we'll be working in two different places an assigned team in each area. That means there will be more volunteers to do the job in the Youth Action program. My and a group of young people were assessed one Saturday and I received the confirmation that I'm going to be part of the program just this Monday.
I admit that I was disheartened a bit as I wanted something else (the Youth Xchange program), and got shortlisted for the other one. You know the 'It's not quite it' feeling? However, it's the thought that I should think about what's served on my life's table right now that makes me grounded and be present-thinking. I might not have achieved what I've originally wanted, but the basics of what I want are still intact: helping communities, learning new things, getting to know more people and experiencing living in a new environment. At the end of the day, that's what its all about. Certainly, I will become a better and a more learned person after this. There's really nothing to lose if I take a shot at it. Overall, I'm excited for what is to come. The program formally starts next week with the in-country training of the Filipino and British youth volunteers. Please wish us the best!