Written by: Tricia Marie B. Ayala
The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) conducted its first run of a three (3)-day online training on Volunteer Management last 28 to 30 April 2021, in partnership with the United States Peace Corps (USPC)-Philippines. The training aimed to capacitate the designated Volunteerism Focal Persons (VFPs) in providing a conducive environment and impactful volunteer engagement in their respective organizations and local government units (LGUs) utilizing the PNVSCA Volunteer Management System (VMS) Toolkit as guide. The participants were from the NEDA and DILG Regional offices, BARMM-BPDA, and selected LGUs.
PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James Gawe opened the first-day session and served as the learning facilitator. Director Gawe’s discussion tackled the Introduction, Strategy Development, Partnership Development, and Activity Planning of the Volunteer Management Cycle. The first session objectives focused on identifying practical steps on how government organizations can design effective and sustainable volunteer strategies. Second, on appreciating the importance of volunteerism in achieving development goals in the locality; understanding the processes and principles related to partnership identification, partnership building, and relational management; and developing an activity or project plan for volunteer-related initiatives.
Meanwhile, the PC Team served as the learning facilitators on the second-day session. The discussions on the second day centered on Volunteer Recruitment, Volunteer Mobilization, Volunteer Support, Volunteer Monitoring, and Assignment Completion. The session gave the participants an overview of volunteer management, continuing from volunteer recruitment and mobilization up to assignment completion. The session also emphasized the significant role of the volunteer managers in providing support and in monitoring the volunteers.
On the third-day session, the VFPs presented their workshop outputs. They get to share their volunteer program strategy and plans on how they can institutionalize volunteerism as part of their organization and local development plan.
Ms. Jenner Edelman, the Peace Corps Country Director, gave a closing note at the end of the three-day training session. In her parting message, Ms. Edelman expressed her gratitude to the VFPs that took part in the training session and underscored how this pandemic had driven home the importance of national and local volunteerism, especially now that there are limitations on the deployment of the international volunteers. “The role that you all play as a Volunteer Focal Person is crucial, and now really more than ever, you are the impetus, you are the lynchpin to the successful development, growth, and sustainability of volunteer programs across the Philippines,” she added. Jenner also expressed her gratitude to the PNVSCA and shared how she and her team look forward to a much stronger partnership with PNVSCA and VFPs.
The Volunteer Management Training is part of the PNVSCA’s initiatives and calls for government institutions to develop and establish a volunteer program that shall complement initiatives to overcome and recover from the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic towards a healthy and resilient Philippines.
The author is currently the Volunteer Service Officer II of the Program Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency.
Visit PNVSCA website (www.pnvsca.gov.ph) and PNVSCA Facebook (facebook.com/PNVSCA) for other stories and information on volunteering.