Volunteerism in the Philippines has been inculcated in the very foundation of its culture. It has taken different guises or traditional names such as Bayanihan, Pahinungod, Kawanggawa or Bahaginan. Throughout the decades, volunteerism has continuously evolved and remains to be an essential part of Filipino lives.
In recognizing the vital role of volunteers and their contributions to the nation-building, the Philippine Government has designated the month of December as the National Volunteer Month (NVM). The NVM aims to build nationwide public awareness and appreciation of volunteerism and create the environment for voluntary action. It also recognizes volunteers as partners in the development and an appropriate form of recognition to the modern day heroes whose work is demonstrated by commitment and service to others.
The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) is designated as the focal agency for the NVM celebration. It is assisted by the National Volunteer Month Steering Committee (NVM-SC) in planning and organizing NVM events and activities. The NVM-SC is composed of representatives from government and the private sector.
This year’s theme for the NVM celebration is “Volunteer for the MDGs: Fight HIV and AIDS” The campaign is led by the NVM Honorary Chair Efren Penaflorida, 2009 CNN Hero of the Year and the 2008 Search for Outstanding Volunteer Awardee.
Major events to look forward to during the NVM celebration in December2013 are the International Volunteer Day (IVD) on December 5, which is a global event celebrated annually in the Philippines, the Kite Flying Festival by the National Coalition on Volunteerism (NCV), and the Awarding Ceremony for the 2013 Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) to be held on December 13.
The National Coalition on Volunteerism (NCV) in partnership with United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and PNVSCA will celebrate NVM through a Kite Flying Festival dubbed “Saranggola para sa Katapatan, Kalusugan at Kapayapaan (KKK)” on December 7, 3pm to 7pm at the Quezon City Hall Plaza. The symbolic turn-over of these aspirations and commitments will be done on 9 December and will also be held at Quezon City Hall Plaza.
The traditional kite maker known as Pa Andang from Sulu, Tawi-tawi will make the kites which will each bear the words “Katapatan, Kalusugan, Kapayapaan.” Local Chief Executives from Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Naga are expected to participate in the Kite Flying Festival.
The 2013 Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) culminates in an Awarding Ceremony to be held on 13 December 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Galleria, corner Ortigas and San Miguel Avenues, Ortigas Center, Quezon City.
SOV recognizes and highlights the exemplary performance and dedication to service of Filipino volunteers in building strong communities across the country through volunteerism. The search is open to all individuals of Filipino citizenship and Filipino volunteer organizations or local chapter organizations of foreign volunteer organizations that currently provide volunteer assistance in the Philippines.
PNVSCA invites everyone to celebrate the NVM in December, either through participation in activities advocating volunteerism and/or initiating volunteering activities that showcase the work of volunteers for local and national development.
Please visit the PNVSCA website at www.pnvsca.gov.ph to see other NVM volunteering events/ activities for 2013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to share information regarding your NVM initiatives.