WHAT’S A YAV?
The YAV (Young Adult Volunteer) Program sends young adults on a year of service to one of 22 sites nationally or around the world. Volunteers, also known as YAVs, accompany local agencies working to address root causes of poverty and reconciliation while exploring the meaning and motivation of their faith in intentional community with peers and mentors. Check out more information here!
When I was 11 years old, my family adopted my youngest sibling from Ethiopia and a spark set off in my soul. I became hooked on the idea of partnering with and listening to brothers and sisters in faith around the world. When I was 15, I visited worshipping communities in Guatemala with my home church (it rocks!) and realized my love for children and relationship-building. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to study abroad in India and Senegal during my time in college and felt called to the YAV program to further my desire to learn from, love on, and seek justice among groups of people.
WILL I BE SAFE?
The answer is, yes! The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and most of its 98 million inhabitants live on 11 main islands. (From top to bottom, the archipelago is about the size of the state of California!) The Philippines often makes current news for ongoing violence in the Southern region, Mindanao, or in the capital Manila up north in Luzon, both of which are plane rides away from the peaceful city of Dumaguete where I will be serving. My site coordinator Dessa can assure that I am safe and secure throughout the year, especially as Dumaguete is fondly nicknamed the “City of Gentle People.” See red dot on the map below for a visual!
HOW, WHEN & WHERE?
Thanks to the outstanding generosity of my family, church, and college and camp community (visit my soon-to-be-created shoutout page for details upon details!), I am humbled to be serving as a YAV in the Philippines from August 2017 – July 2018!
My volunteer placement is with an organization called Little Children of the Philippines (LCP), which is located in Dumaguete City in the island of Negros Oriental. I will be leading workshops on self awareness, arts, and the environment with high school and college age children at LCP, while spending some of my time with a program called School on Wheels that prepares children living on the street to one day attend formal school. Most people in Dumaguete speak English as well as Binisaya, also known as Cebuano, which is one of 19 recognized Filipino dialects. I will be provided a tutor in Binisaya and am looking forward to learning as much of it as I can. Additionally, I will live with a Filipino host family in Dumaguete from October until at least January, and look forward to serving in Dumaguete the other ’17-’18 Philippines YAV, Lauren Robinson, who is also placed in Dumaguete. Please check out Lauren’s blog as she is brilliant.
I invite you to join me in praying for patience, gentleness and courage during my year in the Philippines. Please pray for safety in the opportunities I will have to travel, learn and grow, and for peace and protection for the communities I will encounter. Pray for the children I will work with on a daily basis, many of whom will have survived trafficking, abuse and disease.
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