Active Communities, Sustainable Future

VSO Bahaginan is once again bringing together volunteering advocates for its second Volunteering Expo happening on March 13, 2012.

Co-presented by the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Local Government Authority, the 2nd Volunteering Expo is set to take place at the Intercontinental Manila Hotel, carrying the theme: “Active communities, Sustainable Future.”

This year’s theme is apt given how Filipinos has transformed their view about volunteerism. Volunteering has gone beyond its simple principle of donating time and energy for someone who needs it. It has evolved into something more valuable as volunteerism today takes a deeper role in catalyzing positive change for a community. Numerous times it’s been seen how the power of volunteerism moved mountains to help communities rise from challenges.

In 2011 alone, Filipinos’ bayanihan spirit or the spirit of communal unity and cooperation towards one goal, was time and again displayed when the Philippines suffered the destruction of typhoons “Pedring,” “Quiel,” and “Sendong.” Government organizations, corporations, as well as individuals shared their time and efforts to help raise funds or initiate community building efforts to help the affected communities. Helping was made more possible and easier through new technologies and social media that allowed real-time information gathering and made speedy mass mobilization possible.

As a development organization committed to fighting global poverty, VSO Bahaginan believes that the Philippines is already ripe for a volunteering revolution. Proof of which is when the Volunteer Act of 2007 was signed which institutionalizes volunteerism as a strategy for national development and international cooperation.

Through the Volunteering Expo, VSO Bahaginan aims to help ignite a volunteering revolution, not only when citizen action is urgent, but at all times. It aims to raise the profile and value of volunteering and volunteers, elevating them in the consciousness of our society as integral and essential in our pursuit of progress and better life for all.

It is a pioneering platform for all those who share the work of volunteering and development. It provides an avenue for learning exchange and brokering of knowledge in volunteering for development.  It is a venue for debate, discussion and continuing conversations about the role and the future of the volunteering and how it can be harnessed for national and global development. It will showcase best practices and laudable programs that have shaped the voluntary and development sector in the country. Participants can expect an in depth discussion of how volunteerism can drive communities to take a more proactive role in creating a sustainable future for communities, for a country and for the world.

Topics for discussion include “Developing an active citizenry for national development,” which will provide insights on how true development is achieved by including the intended recipients of the development, and “Enabling volunteering to contribute to sustainable development” that will focus on the importance of strategic management of volunteering in unleashing its power as an approach to create a lasting development impact. For more focused discussions, there are also breakout sessions that will touch on the following topics: Corporate volunteering matters, Volunteers: How to engage the right ones and keep them warm, and Widening the playing field of volunteerism: From city halls to boob tube.

Aside from the conference, The Volunteering Expo also features the Volunteering Fair which will be free and open to the public. The Volunteering Fair is the venue for individuals who are looking for opportunities to make a difference through volunteering. For organizations that would want to encourage volunteering in their organizations, the fair will share the current trends in volunteering programs through exhibits of various national and international organizations, and companies doing CSR.

The Volunteering Expo is designed for volunteering and development stakeholders coming from various sectors, which include volunteer managers, program managers and executives of NGOs, civil society organization, volunteer-involving and volunteer-placing organizations, international development agencies, leaders and executives of corporate foundations, companies with employee volunteering/engagement programs and CSR programs, students and community leaders, among others.

The 700 Club Asia is supporting the 2nd Volunteering Expo as a media partner.

For more information and to register, please call (63 2) 374-6450 to 52 loc 30, (63 918) 916-0704, or email marketing@vsobahaginan.org.

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