What is the best way to celebrate the gift-giving season?
For some people like Ency Encinares, a volunteer deaf mute teacher, and Venerva Amil, a teacher for the Bajau community in Barangay Alaska Mambaling, Cebu City, volunteering for a cause is the best form of a gift this yuletide season.
They both define volunteerism as serving without something in return, as long as the one doing it happy with what he or she is doing doing. They also associate volunteerism as saying the truth, letting the people know that one is sincere with his or her voluntary service.
Encinares and Amil were guests during the “Pagtuki” episode last Dec. 3 when the topic was on the state of the Cebuano volunteerism. Pagtuki is the weekly radio program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) aired every Saturday morning over dyLA.
“When I was still in college, I belonged to an organization that is into helping the community. I have had worries, such as failing my subjects since I gave so much of my time as a volunteer. But at the end of the day, I find fulfillment in what I was doing,” Encinares explained.
He added that he would have had a hard time learning the sign language if he was not dedicated and passionate about it.
For Amil, she has seen the need for the Bajau community to focus on education, especially learning the Cebuano language.
“I decided to share my knowledge with them. Even though there are a lot of challenges being a volunteer teacher, such as getting the cooperation of the Bajau community, these are not reasons for me to stop. I know majority of my students want to learn. I want to impart to them that education is very relevant in our lives,” Amil shared in Cebuano.
Apart from sharing their personal experiences on volunteerism, they also encouraged the public, particularly the youth, to do voluntary work and contribute to community development.
“Volunteerism should start in us. Set yourself as an example so that the rest will follow,” Amil advised. (by Hannah Reoma/RAFI intern)