776 Giving is Social’s Volunteer Workshop 2.0

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Written by Adviser and Founder of Giving is Social, Ate Jo-e Villagarcia

Do you know why you were born?

On the 2nd July this year, a group of volunteers and community builders gathered together to learn how to effectively help communities in need.

What followed were eight hours of inspiring talk, knowledge-sharing, and calls to action, hosted by a panel of five motivational speakers. These included Lynn Nawata of Day2 International, Glenn Costales of U! Happy Events, Jec Dycoco of Gawad Kalinga, Harvard Uy de Baron of U! Happy Events, and Fabien Courteille of Batang Bayani International.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why”. This powerful quote by Mark Twain was the first of many eye-opening anecdotes shared during the Volunteer 2.0 Workshop.

35 participants attended the 8-hour session held at co-working space Warehouse Eight in Makati, Philippines. The session was kick-started by Jo-e Blanding, the founder of Giving is Social, who explained what the main goal of the Volunteer 2.0 leadership program is: to raise a new breed of volunteers and change-makers. “Volunteerism is not a strange idea to people. This is the reason why non-profits are growing, thanks to the many dedicated volunteers of this era. The next step is to properly equip volunteers for a more impactful service in the community,” says Jo-e. This message was then driven home by the five speakers over the course of the day.

Lynn Nawata, Asia Pacific Director or Day2 International
Lynn held a 4-hour session highlighting the key principles behind Crossroads. This is an innovative training technique which teaches participants how to break the mindset of those in poverty, and how to help the disadvantaged without creating dependency and entitlement.

Crossroads is an internationally recognised curriculum which has been certified by the UNHCR; the Colorado Department of Human Services; and the governments of Norway, Hungary and Slovakia. Lynn’s session involved a number of group activities to engage participants in lateral thinking, using an indirect and creative approach, typically by viewing problems in a new and unusual light.

Glenn Costales, Vice President of U! Happy Events and Jec Dycoco, team leader at Gawad Kalinga
Lynn’s session was followed by two inspirational volunteers sharing their own experiences. Glenn spoke to the group about how volunteering can ultimately become a lifestyle, and how, by reluctantly joining a volunteering event, he changed his life. Jec then shared valuable insights on how important mentorship is to the volunteering journey.

Harvard Uy De Baron, founder and chairman of U! Happy Events
Because one of the aims of Volunteer 2.0 is to provide practical steps for participants, the workshop also featured a talk by Harvard on how a non-profit initiative can be started. Harvard shared his 10 years of experience building and growing the U! Happy Events group from a simple act of giving sandwiches to street children in Manila, to a thriving non-profit events group focused on connecting volunteers, sponsors, and beneficiaries with each other.

Fabien Courteille, founder of Batang Bayani International
The final speaker of the day was Fabien, who founded the Bulacan-Philippines-based social enterprise that created the Plush and Play toys. There is the potential for volunteers, who donate their time, skills and resources, to eventually become business people who create social impact through the profits earned, so the workshop invited Fabien to inspire participants with how he started his own social enterprise. Fabien shared how he wanted to enable mothers in the province to make toys, so he agreed to put on a large commercial event despite a total lack of resources, and he and his team were able to pull it off.

Participants rounded off a valuable day of knowledge-sharing by explaining what learning was most valuable to them.

This workshop is part of Giving is Social’s “Volunteer 2.0” 5-day leadership program in Manila. Watch out for the next one from September 10-14, 2016.

U! Happy Events

U! Happy Events