By Claire Marie Algarme
Traveling is a way to relax, rejuvenate and get away from the daily grind. But many who take the road do so in order to gain new experiences and learn from them. While gallivants go to a certain place to enjoy its environment, some have found a way to give back to the community and help preserve the beauty of their surroundings and work on what still needs to be improved. Others call it volunteer travel, while some refer to it as voluntourism or volunteer vacation. Whatever it is called, the main objective here is that, while you are on your adventure trail, you take some time to render service, without putting burden on the host community.
Palawan, in all its glory and splendor, still has areas where locals need assistance. Although tourism has enabled many families to earn a living, non-profit organizations have identified certain areas and sectors of society where they can lend a hand. If you are eyeing Palawan as a travel destination, or if you are wont on doing some volunteer activities in the provinces, then these activities and organizations may be your best bet to travel and volunteer in Palawan.
Serve children with cleft lip or cleft palate
For several years, Operation Smile has been traveling all over the world to serve children with cleft plate, cleft lip or facial deformities. Its team is coming to Palawan, Philippines in August and October this year as one of their medical missions. You can be a medical volunteer or a local community volunteer. To be part of its medical team, you can assist in the actual medical operation process. Local community volunteers, on the other hand, can assist in preparing medical tools and supplies, fundraising, and events organizing.
Operation Smile Philippines Foundation, Inc.
Address: 19th Floor UCPB Corporate Offices Building, 7907 Makati Avenue, Makati City
Contact information: +63 2 811 9737 to 40
Website: www.operationsmile.org | For Info | Facebook | Sign Up
Details: Spend on your own transportation and accommodation. Upcoming medical missions in Palawan are on August 8-13, 2016 in Taytay (Northern Palawan) at the Northern Palawan Provincial Hospital, and October 24-28, 2016 in Brooke’s Point (Southern Palawan) at the Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital.
Empower women with Roots of Health
Right in Puerto Princesa, the gateway to the world renowned Underground River, Roots of Health serves women in the community. Volunteers can help by assisting women and girls in this city by educating them about gender, puberty, health care, self-esteem, healthy relationships and other related topics. Roots of Health makes its selection of volunteers on a case by case basis depending on the skills and experiences that potential interns and volunteers have and would assign them to specific volunteer projects or work depending on what the organization’s priorities are at the time. You can help in the needs assessment of communities or spread the word about the works of this organization.
Roots of Health
Address: 401 Karldale Building, North Highway, San Pedro, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Contact information: +63 998 551 0669 | +63 48 434 0775
Website: rootsofhealth.org | Facebook
Details: Roots of Health accepts volunteers who can commit to at least 8 weeks of volunteer work. Volunteers will have to shoulder transportation and accommodation expenses.
Help monitor the Asian small-clawed otter with LAMAVE
Palawan’s capital, Puerto Princesa, is rich in various natural resources and attractions. The Large Marine Vertebrates (LAMAVE) Research Institute welcomes volunteers who can help them with their various projects across the Philippines. For example in Palawan, volunteers will survey otter habitats with them, which will again start by the end of this year, or may find themselves helping with special events such as mural painting or interacting with the local community. When you volunteer to travel to Palawan, take into account the impact you can do when you provide aid to organizations such as LAMAVE.
Large Marine Vertebrates (LAMAVE) Research Institute
Address: Cagulada Compound, Barangay Tejero, Jagna, Bohol 6308
Contact information: | firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: www.lamave.org | Facebook | Volunteer Info | Email for more info
Details: LAMAVE accepts volunteers who can commit to at least 3 months of volunteer work. They ask a monthly contribution to help cover food, accommodation and travel expenses within the project.
Be in Harmony with food and nature while sharing your skills at Bahay Kalipay
Puerto Princesa is a bustling city as well as a refuge where you can commune with nature. Right in the bosom of this city is Bahay Kalipay where visitors learn how to harmoniously live with others and with our environment. Bahay Kalipay has a Resident Volunteer Program where interested individuals and groups can stay for a month or more to help in the community and learn from them as well. They can help in the garden, look after plants and vegetables, improve and beautify the facilities in Bahay Kalipay, teach locals, assist facilitators, or share other skills and capabilities. On the other hand, volunteers will learn the path to harmony with food and nature.
Bahay Kalipay Retreat Center
Address: Lot 38E, Hagedorn Road Extension, Barangay San Pedro, Palawan
Contact information: +63 927 547 7871 | +63 939 914 3414
Website: www.bahaykalipay.com | Facebook | Sign Up
Details: Minimum of one-month commitment. The fee is P15,000 which includes food and accommodation for one month.
Train the Youth with I am M.A.D. (Making A Difference)
I am M.A.D. (Making A Difference) is an organization led by young people for the development of the youth through the promotion of education and good values. They mold young Filipinos through outreach programs, fun activities, and community immersion all over the country. One of the communities they are going to serve this year is Aborlan, Palawan. Aborlan boasts of Tigman beach and Estrella Falls, among other things. When you are not on your volunteer duty, explore the hidden treasures of Aborlan or head to nearby Puerto Princesa.
I am M.A.D. (Making A Difference)
Address: Volunteer site is Tagpait Elementary School, Aborlan Palawan
Contact information: +63 2 696 3524 | +63 915 587 6495 (Eimee)
Website: iammadph.wix.com | Facebook | Sign Up
Details: The Aborlan project is scheduled on August 27 to 29,2016. The fee is P1,500 exclusive of airfare. The fee covers meals, accommodations, land transportation, and other items.
Flexible volunteer projects with Andres Soriano Foundation
In islands within the municipalities of Cuyo and Agutaya at the northern part of Palawan, volunteers can assist the Andres Soriano Foundation in helping communities have cleaner and healthier environment. Volunteers may provide supplementary feeding to malnourished children and help in doing coastal clean-ups and mangrove tree planting in Manamoc Island, Cuyo, on a weekend. They can also join medical missions in the islands of Manamoc (Cuyo), Algeciras (Agutaya) and Concepcion (Agutaya) during summer season, or help monitor the reefs in Mainland Cuyo and Manamoc Island along with the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Management Teams in these localities. Moreover, volunteers can suggest other activities that can benefit the communities in these areas.
The Andres Soriano Foundation
Address: A. Soriano Aviation Hangar, Andrews Aven., Pasay City
Contact information: +63 2 831 9941 | +63 2 851 5507
Website: asorianofdn.org | Facebook
Details: Volunteer schedules are flexible, depending on the availability of the volunteer and in coordination with ASF. There is no volunteer cost, but volunteers will have to shoulder transportation and meals and expenses. ASF may provide accommodation in Manamoc Island where they have a field office.
Main Image Source is from the Andres Soriano Foundation.