Wednesday, 18 April 2007
Living in a developed country like the UK, where you basically have everything, makes you appreciate the things back home that you usually take for granted. It makes you see the beauty of your country. Most importantly, being a GX volunteer enables you to see that even if the UK is on the opposite side of the world, the problems that we face in our own country are somehow similar with what they are experiencing. Seeing and experiencing all these makes you realize that you can actually do something to help address these problems and make a difference.
Being a GXP volunteer has been a tremendous experience so far. It offers an international venue to take an active role in community development through our assigned volunteer placements; to take charge in running and organizing sessions on global issues through various informal learning settings; to live in a new environment with other people different from myself; and aids in personal growth. It has given me the opportunity to try new things, take initiative and a leading role in situations I would not normally find myself in. More than anything, I can notice so far the changes in my persona and I feel privileged and satisfied to be a volunteer of the Global Xchange Programme.
Being a GXP volunteer allows me to really interact with a new community in a team so diverse and enthusiastic that every time you talk to them you discover something new. This, along with our team building days, allows me to really interact with others and discover a new culture from the eyes of those living in it. My volunteer placement is challenging, and requires a huge amount of initiative, but pays off huge rewards if I push myself. My beliefs and values are constantly being challenged and adjusted after every GCD!
Laura Chillag, Philip Commeyne, Cornelius Garrett, and Junica Soriano, along with other guests talked about volunteerism; what it is, how its current state is, what the benefits associated with it are, and what it takes to be a volunteer, among others. Questions and comments coming from the listeners stimulated the discussion.
Unity 101 aims to promote participation of Asian and ethnic minorities in Southampton through Community Hour by keeping people informed of various issues that affect the community.
by Junica Soriano
Councillor Slade also requested the Ambassador to furnish a copy to his office the addresses of the Filipino volunteers in the Philippines. He said it
After the programme, the visitors were invited for a lunch prepared by the council. Right after the vast meal, the two mayors split them into two groups for the tour around the civic centre including the mayor’s office and council hall. The volunteers were also given the chance to wear the ceremonial gowns used by the city mayor.
by Jeffrey Engracial
A simulation of Southampton and Eastleigh by Jay and Xenia
On the final night we were placed into our counterpart-pairs, again a very strange situation where people moved all over a makey-uppy map of Southampton in order to find their placements and counterparts. Got paired with Miel and am living in Neville’s house in Cadnam with her which is interesting to say the least…
by Ciara Mc Corley
Half of Team 58 on the way to UK from the Philippines
Manila - Hong Kong - Heathrow. It was a long flight, a first for many of us. With eyes wide opened and jaws dropped low, we continued to take in the beauty and unfamiliarity of the United Kingdom as we headed on to Streatley to meet up with the other half of our team and ultimately, to begin our mission as Global Xchange volunteers.
Our vehicle came to a halt and expectantly awaited our UK counterparts. We then saw a group of smiling, young people, waving at us as we waved back. It was an awkward, exciting, and anxiety filled moment -- to finally see who we've been training to work with for the next 6 months and to meet those who might possibly have the same global and personal perspectives as we do.
The next few days engaged us in a series of intensive training, scratching the tip of what is to be a cultural exchange iceberg. It was humbling to recognize that our differences were all we had in common and that is exactly what we come to celebrate in this exchange. As we Filipinos strive to adjust to the weather and the diet change amongst other things, we accept the warm welcome they have given us and with arms wide open, humbly embrace our new found mates to form one united team. Mabuhay and cheers!
by Chely Vibal