While a portion of today’s youth focuses on their academic requirements, there are those who follow their hearts– not for prestige but for personal fulfillment.
JR Almadin, Organizing Committee Vice President of the organization, says, “We bring in foreign volunteers whom we call EPs (Exchange Participants) to go to the Philippines under the AIESEC (Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales) LifeBoat project to cater to different advocacies existing in our country.”
Project Lifeboat aims to develop socially aware and capable global citizens who aspire to have an impact on the Filipino society by promoting sustainable development within the community.
Throughout the volunteers’ stay in Haribon, they will be exposed to various opportunities for leadership and social awareness. Through this venture, not only will these foreign volunteers get to spark change in the lives of others but the experience will also be valuable in their learning.
“I love doing volunteer work and I am really interested in sustainability and environmental issues. I like the local community focus of Haribon since it is important to involve the local community in order to achieve the goal of saving the environment. And I can apply what I have learned through talking to the youth and informing them about the experience,” Sophie Mumm, a Developmental Studies student from Sweden, elaborates.
Sarim Jamal, a Computer Science student from Pakistan, adds, “I like that Haribon is about preserving the environment and creating public awareness. Through the Foundation, I get to know more about the biodiversity of the Philippines. I found that a lot of birds are endangered. The most important thing to do is to try to protect what is left and think about making changes and reforestation.”
Through this partnership program of Haribon and AIESEC, volunteers immerse themselves in the daily activities and programs that Haribon is currently implementing that will impact and empower both the volunteers and local communities.
BEA KIRSTEIN T. MANALAYSAY/ HARIBON FOUNDATION