A life changing event on the Phillipines

A life changing event on the Phillipines

A life changing event on the Phillipines

Thanks to AIESEC I was able to experience a life changing event. I could do a project for 6 weeks in the Philippines. Arriving one week before my project started it gave me the opportunity to see the beauty of this country. Together with other AIESEC volunteers I stayed a week in Manila; the capital city with lots of fast food chains, millions of people and a lot of traffic. Colored jeepneys, tricycles, buses, cars, MRT, minivans, padicups; I have never seen so many different public transportations. I escaped this noisy and crowded city and went to more rural places. Visiting the Hundred Islands was really a relief after a couple of days in Manila. Together with two fishermen we visited different islands and it was amazing to swim in crystal clear water, eat fresh food and to realize we were the only people on the beach.

For 6 weeks I stayed in Tacloban and have done voluntary work at the Cabuynan Elementary School. I was supposed to teach English and Math, but the kids weren’t really interested in those topics. In order to really teach them something new, I, other AIESEC volunteers and the school principal decided to give classes about topics they didn’t have much knowledge about; first aid, pollution and art. In addition, we also prepared sport activities and I gave dance classes myself. It was amazing to see how positive the kids reacted on that. We had so much fun, the kids enjoyed our classes and our relationship with them became stronger and stronger.

Tacloban showed me a whole other side of the Philippines and made me realize what these sweet little kids have experienced. After the typhoon Yolanda on 8th November 2013 this city was completely washed away and people lost everything in a couple of hours. Ten thousand people didn’t survive and three thousand people are still missing. It was really heartbreaking to hear the stories of Tacloban’s people and it is hard to imagine what they have experienced. Although their bad experiences the people are really brave and are trying to get their lives back on their feet. Despite their trauma because of Yolanda the kids are so brave, talented, sweet and generous and they really inspired me to do something else for them.

I think that every kid should have the right to play in a safe and pleasant environment and that’s why I wanted to give them their own playground next to the school. Through Facebook I fundraised more than a 1000 euros. A local carpenter helped me to realize my project and together with the kids I painted the playground to make it a colorful eyecather. By being creative with used materials I could also spend money on soccergates, gymnastics equipment, indoor games and volleyball equipment. I hope my project have helped the kids to forget their bad experiences for a moment. For me at least, it was an experience never to forget!

Eva Kiemeney – 2015

Charles Giesberger