PhilCV’s 10th Annual Members’ Meeting
October 11, 2023 | 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 N.N.

Mr. Max Ventura, Chair of the Philippine Coalition on Volunteerism (PhilCV), Ms. Phoebe Carrera, President of the PhilCV, and all the officers and members of the organization, a pleasant morning to you all.

I am deeply honored to stand before you and address this distinguished assembly of volunteers, partners, and supporters of PhilCV. This event marks a special moment in our calendar, as it allows us to celebrate our shared commitment to volunteerism and the profound effect it has on our communities.

PhilCV has been a strong ally of PNVSCA for several years now. We have jointly implemented significant projects and activities, including the development of the Philippine Standards on Volunteerism for Development (PSVD) dubbed as “Bayanihan Para sa Kaunlaran”. We genuinely commend PhilCV on this initiative and we really hope that all volunteer organizations in the country will eventually adopt this instrument.  

Apart from the PSVD, PhilCV has actively participated in the annual celebration of the National Volunteer Month (NVM), held every December pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 55, series of 1998. The NVM aims to build nationwide public awareness and appreciation of volunteerism, create the environment for voluntary action, and recognize volunteers as partners in development. Since its declaration in 1998, NVM has been a fitting recognition of the volunteers – our modern-day heroes – whose work is exemplified by commitment and service to others. PNVSCA serves as the focal point for the NVM celebration and is assisted by a National Volunteer Month Steering Committee (NVM-SC) composed of government and private sector representatives in planning and organizing the event. PhilCV sits as a member of the NVM-SC.

This year, our NVM theme is a call to action and a vision for our collective future: “Igniting Volunteer-Led Innovation for Future Growth and Social Transformation.”  In a constantly evolving world, the spirit of volunteerism remains an unwavering source of hope and progress. It is a force that transcends boundaries, generations, and challenges.

For this year’s NVM, PNVSCA and the NVM-SC have prepared a series of activities you may want to participate in. These include the National Kick-Off on December 1, which will be held in Dapitan City, Zamboanga Del Norte; the International Volunteer Day (IVD) Celebration to be held in Davao City on December 5-7; National Bayanihan Day in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro on December 8; Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) Awarding Ceremony on December 12; Partnership Recognition on December 29 which will be held online; and a series of fora and learning sessions on volunteerism, one of which will be conducted by PhilCV on December 13. All these activities will be posted on our website and Facebook page, and will be shared by PhilCV as well to their networks and members. We really hope that you will all join us in the celebration of the NVM.

Going back to your Annual Members’ Meeting, I would like to highlight the two topics for your learning sessions, which I hope will also serve as a challenge for each of us as we continue to implement our respective volunteering programs and activities:

1. Back to the Future: Transitioning from online to in-person volunteering.

The past few years have shown us the incredible power of digital connectivity and the resilience of volunteers who adapted to remote forms of service. Virtual volunteering allowed us to transcend geographical boundaries, connect with new communities, and provide support in innovative ways. It demonstrated that the spirit of volunteerism knows no bounds.

As we embark on this transition back to in-person volunteering, we carry the lessons learned during our online endeavors. We bring the knowledge that technology can be a bridge that connects us even when physical distance separates us. We have discovered that online platforms enable us to engage a broader audience and offer diverse ways to contribute.

Yet, we also recognize the profound impact of personal, face-to-face connections. The warmth of a smile, the touch of a helping hand, and the power of human interaction are irreplaceable. In-person volunteering allows us to build deeper bonds with the communities we serve and witness firsthand our efforts’ impact.

“Back to the Future,” embodies the idea that we are not returning to a past that has been left behind but rather creating a future that embraces the best of both worlds. We can leverage the strengths of online and in-person volunteering to build a more flexible, inclusive, and impactful volunteer ecosystem.

The transition may bring challenges and uncertainties but offers boundless opportunities. It calls for us to reimagine how we engage volunteers, empower communities, and tackle the issues that matter most.

So, as we embark on this journey, let us remember that volunteerism is not confined by the medium through which it takes place. It is a reflection of our shared commitment to making the world a better place, regardless of the tools we use.

2. Agents of Change: Active Volunteerism

“Agents of Change: Active Volunteerism,” reminds us of the extraordinary power we hold as individuals and as a collective to shape a better future for ourselves and future generations.

Volunteerism is not a passive act but a dynamic force that propels us forward. It is the embodiment of empathy, the manifestation of our shared values, and the realization of our responsibility to one another. Active volunteerism is the spark that transforms ideas into actions and dreams into realities.

Our world is filled with old and new challenges that demand our attention and dedication. From addressing social inequalities and environmental crises to supporting education and healthcare initiatives, there is no shortage of opportunities to make a difference. We stand out as change agents because of our unwavering dedication to standing up and taking action. We don’t want to sit back and watch the world fall apart; we want to actively participate in finding solutions.

Age, background, or circumstance are not barriers to active volunteerism. It thrives on diversity, openness, and the conviction that each person contributes something worthwhile. Our diversity strengthens us, and our united devotion unifies us for a common goal.

We are a powerful force for change when acting collectively. We can overcome obstacles, knock down barriers, and create a more promising, equitable, and sustainable future.

So, let us embrace our roles as change agents with enthusiasm, empathy, and determination. Let us actively participate in our communities, provide helping hands to those in need, and build the world we envision.

In closing, I leave you with a quote from the American anthropologist Margaret Mead: {start quote} “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” {end quote} Thank you for your continued commitment to making this world a better place for each of us. Once again, good morning and mabuhay po kayong lahat!

Dir Gawe with the members of PhilCV
Dir Gawe delivering his Keynote Message