Australian volunteers: Partners to Philippine progress
5 December 2014
In celebration of International Volunteer Day (IVD, 5 December) and National Volunteer Month, Australian volunteers in the Philippines are converging with local counterparts for a series of activities to increase awareness on the benefits of volunteerism in development. The activities start off today with the launching of the Philippine Coalition on Volunteerism (PhilCV)* at the Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center in Pasig City with the Association of Foundations. It will culminate on 9 December at The Bayleaf Intramuros in Manila City for the 2014 AVID Forum** hosted by the Australian Embassy. Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell, will deliver a welcome message, and host organisations and volunteers will also share their experiences.
The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) is an important and long-standing part of the Australian Government’s aid program which helps to drive change and build enduring people-to-people links with Australia. It promotes economic growth and poverty reduction in the Asia Pacific region by assisting host organisations to deliver effective and sustainable development outcomes.
Each year Australian volunteers, through AVID, spend anywhere between a few weeks to more than a year to undertake assignments in host organisations. The volunteers contribute their knowledge, skills, time and goodwill to help host organisations to be better equipped to achieve their goals.
“The success of Australia’s aid program in the Philippines hinges on partnerships – not just between governments and between agencies and civil society, but including the people-to-people links that contribute to ensuring help is there when and where it is most needed. Australian volunteers contribute to this goal by sharing their skills, their time and their compassion. Their own lives are enriched in the process as well, strengthening the understanding of local and cross-cultural issues and building effective professional and personal relationships toward national development,” said Ambassador Tweddell.
Globally, through the AVID program, 2006 Australian volunteers in 43 countries have contributed to development objectives in the region. These Australian volunteers undertook assignments across 1369 different host organisations.
There are 49 Australian volunteers currently in the Philippines lending their time and expertise to help their host organisations to achieve mutual Australian and Philippine development priorities, such as in education, community development, disaster risk reduction, human rights, governance and improving services and support to people with disabilities.
Further information about the AVID program can be found at http://www.australianaidvolunteers.gov.au/
* With the support of the Australian Embassy, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV), the Association of Foundations (AF) and the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), seven founding organizations are launching the Philippine Coalition on Volunteerism Inc. (PhilCV) to unify and snynergize volunteering efforts in the country. The founding members of PhilCV: Associate Missionaries of the Assumption (AMA); International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE Philippines); KAISA Para sa Kaunlaran; Jesuit Volunteers Philippines Foundation Inc (JVPFI); Miriam Institutional Network for Social Action (Miriam INSA); Volunteer Organization Information Coordination and Exchange (VOICE); and VSO Bahaginan
** For more information on the 2014 AVID Forum, please call (+63 2) 9901573