Volunteer Program

Our Volunteer Program includes everyone who locally or internationally sign up with us to work to help make life better for children as well as adults here in Cebu. The program started about 10 years ago after we got in contact with an international coordinator for interns from Aarhus university in Denmark, and she asked if students could come here as part of their internship period.

Flemming arranges where the interns will work, apartments or lodging houses for them, and he picks all the interns up at the Cebu International Airport and drives them to where they will live for the next 6 months.

It started with 4 teacher students, and yearly this number has increased, to where we in 2011 had more than 200 volunteers; builders, nurses, teachers, dentists and dental personnel, social and political science etc. We feel that this volunteer program is a wonderful way of helping people experience the joy of giving and caring, and the experience they get here is something that changes them and lives with them for the rest of their lives.

Dan (in the photo) and his wife Natalia is a Danish couple who worked as volunteers with children at a rubbish dump for 6 months. They are both IT professionals, but wanted to give of their time to help others before they would start having their own children.

Behavioral Science Students from Denmark

To arrange this program is a lot of work, and Flemming communicates with all these volunteers on a personal basis and answers all their email. To make it easier, standard information letters have been written that covers general information, and this is the first step in informing the volunteers. One document that is aimed for the internship students, is a description of the different institutions that we work closely with, and what kind of target group they focus on. In the iternship program for behavioral science student, we work together with 18 different institutions that cater to physically and mentally handicapped children and youth, criminal youth, abandoned and abused children (which includes street children) as well as daycare centers.

Camilla and Mette chose to work with youth with disabilities. They were warmly welcomed when we brought them to the institution, and it was "love at first sight".

The team from Rise Above who work hands on in this program is Flemming, the director of Rise Above, Marie, who works with the heads of the institutions, our social worker Aida, who works and communicates with the social workers in the institutions, and for the next 6 months, Lone, from Denmark who is a pedagogic professional for 7 years. She will be working as a counselor to the students. She is a friend of a behavioral science student who was part of our program years ago, and contacted us offering her help as a volunteer. With a program this size, help like this is highly appreciated! Thank you Lone!

Sixty-four of this group are behavioral science students from Denmark. Others were nurses and medical students and volunteers. Their internship period ends July 2012. The next internship period starts August 2012, and just as many have signed up for the 2nd batch.

This program is having a big impact in Cebu. Since we at Rise Above Foundation are only 8 adults who work full time with our different programs (see it gives us a feeling of satisfaction to this way be able to provide help in the many needy and often understaffed institutions. At the same time, these young people get an experience in a third world country that opens their eyes to the plight of the poor, and it furnishes them with knowledge about the Asian people and their culture.


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