Volunteer stories: raising environmental awareness in the Philippines

In summer 2017, high-school student and UNA Exchange volunteer, Emilie, travelled from Wales to Gilutungan Island, Cordova, in the Philippines to participate in an international work camp.

signed T-shirt

Accommodated in a local house made of bamboo and located beside the beach, Emilie joined a group of international volunteers on a development project organised by the local government of Barangay Gilutungan, Cordova. Focusing on raising environmental awareness amonsgt members of the local community, activities included marine cleaning and making a waste disposal area, as well as assisting in the provision of nutrition, healthcare and wellness to local children. Exchange of culture through music, games, food and language was also a significant part of the project.

“I have previously volunteered for various charities in the Cardiff area and now that I am able to, I would love to work abroad with communities who need that extra helping hand.”

With electricity available for only a few hours per day and limited water supply on the Island, there was also much for the volunteers to learn about different ways of life.

“I am really keen to travel around the world and absorb new cultures. Volunteering abroad is my next step and I’m really excited to start the new adventure.”

UNA Exchange works with the Global Initiative for Exchange and Development (GIED), a non-government and non-profit organisation in the Philippines, to promote meaningful collaborations in building local communities and empower people to be partners in nation building.