Monday, October 29, 2012

Various pictures from ICS' training in Cebu City this month

VSO UKaid International Citizen Service Youth Action United Kingdom Philippines Volunteerism Youth Work Internship

For most of the month, I didn't really had anything major that transpired aside from continuing job and internship applications, and taking the civil service examinations. The highlight of the month was going to Cebu City, and making friends with the new ICS-YA volunteers. Above are some of the pictures I found on Facebook of our stay in the cool and hilly part of the city. I do not claim all the photos as mine. Some of them are owned the new volunteers. Through these photos, I'd like to share with you guys the fun we had for a week despite it being a preparatory training. It feels weird to see that a new batch of youth volunteers have finally come to 'replace' us, but this is a nice closing to the unforgettable experience I had with being an ICS volunteer myself.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Meeting new ICS friends in Cebu City, Philippines

VSO UKaid Youth International Citizen Service
Rey, me and Kiarah doing a 'VSO' pose in Cebu after a morning walk. Ann took this amazing photo.

Last week, I've been lucky to be invited as a return volunteer for the Introductory Training Course and In-Country Orientation for the new batch of ICS youth volunteers in the Philippines. Though the invitation came as a surprise, I was really game for it that I grabbed a flight to Cebu City immediately. I stayed in Cebu for a week together with the volunteers to help out in their training.

Getting to know the new volunteers proved to be a really positive experience. I didn't expect to get along with them so fast! I felt like an adopted member of their batch, and all of them are just so nice and funny. The Cebu and Bohol teams were all full of promising people. The Cebu team will be working on disability and deaf-awareness, and the Bohol team will be working on environment. It was also great to see my programme supervisors Sir Eduard and Sir James, our programme manager Sir Glenn and meet the programme officer Miss Sheila.

I learned a bit of sign language as there are deaf volunteers for this cycle, and it's surprising how fast one can learn it. I reckon when the Cebu team finishes their cycle, they'll be very much be able to converse with deaf people. Aside from assisting my programme supervisors in facilitating the training, I also learned a lot about deaf culture and disability. 

It was surreal in the moment when everyone's home and work counterparts were revealed. I remember my own counterparts and ICS batchmates. Me and Ate Hiasma, another return volunteer from the batch preceding me, also got the chance to share our own experiences when we were volunteers for the programme. Initially, I thought I'd just be sitting in one corner and helping James and Eduard out, but it turned out to be something more than that. Good luck to the new batch of ICS-YA volunteers.

ICS VSO Bahaginan International Citizen Service Philippines Youth UKAid
Good luck everyone!