Read about our Philippines volunteering experience here.
The Good Shepherd Head Start program is run by volunteers affiliated with the Good Shepherd Convent. This organization takes in very poor children, whose parents are often homeless and work as trash scavengers. Due to the efforts of volunteer teachers, children receive one hot meal a day and the opportunity to learn and play with others. The ages of the children vary from 3 years to 18 years.
This page is dedicated to volunteers who will spend any amount of time with these children. It is a truly rewarding experience.
Have a plan before you go. You will be in charge of the program or game or whatever you want to do. Outside of schooling, there isn’t a set structure.You can help them organize a play or talent show. You can help them build something or teach them arts and crafts. The students love singing and dancing, but be ready to teach them songs and dances. They have karaoke there.
The best days to perform a show with the children or to volunteer are Sundays because most people are there. On week days, some children go to school in the mornings and others go to school in the afternoons, so there will be split groups. On Saturdays, the older students go to vocational school.
The children do have plenty of toys, but are unsure how to use them since many are donations. Take a look in the toy closet and revive some of the old stuff by teaching them how to use them. (Example of toys already there: children’s bowling game, memory cards, coloring crayons, table tennis, jump ropes…)
phone: 0063 (2) 913 6407
Once you are at the Good Shepherd Convent, you can ride with one of the volunteers or sisters to the actual Head Start center. (It’s about 15 min away and hard to find.) Schedule this with someone beforehand, preferable Sister James or speak with Ronald at Our Melting Pot hostel.
A taxi is recommended, as public transport takes twice as long, or more if you get lost.
Good Shepherd Community Bldg,
Good Shepherd Compound
1043 Aurora Blvd, Cubao, Quezon City.
Directions via Metro from Our Melting Pot hostel in Manila:
Take a jeepney across from Petron Gas station going to MRT3
take MRT north-bound (North Avenue)
Get off in CUBAO
Walk thru FARMERS mall (take entrance where KFC is at the 3rd level;
Walk straight, come out of the mall and take elevated walkway) then
enter thru GATEWAY MALL. Immediately upon entering the mall, take the
escalator to the next level; walk straight until you find the LRT 2.
Take the EAST-bound train (towards the direction of SANTOLAN); Get off in
Katipunan. Take the exit to SAINT BRIDGET’S COLLEGE which is at the
opposite rail (train bound WEST). Upon exit, turn to your right and walk
a few meters til you find a green gate. Ask the guard for Sister James
Tell the driver that you are going to GOOD SHEPHERD CONVENT in Aurora
Blvd., beside St. Bridget’s College.
Take EDSA, then turn right on White Plains, then head straight to
Katipunan towards ATENEO UNIVERSITY. After gate 3 of ATENEO, driver
makes a U-turn. You will come past McDonald’s and all sorts of fast food
to your right. At the major intersection, underneath the INTERCHANGE
(called a FLYOVER), the driver must turn right on AURORA BLVD.
You will notice JOLLIBEE at the right corner. After Jollibee, there is
SAINT BRIDGET’S college, then the GOOD SHEPHERD CONVENT
Fare should be around P200-300
The biggest gift you can give the children is a feeling of empowerment. Your time spent with them helps them with confidence and building their English language skills. Other gifts are always welcome, but not necessary. If you do choose to bring gifts, it’s advised to bring them on the last day of volunteering so that you get a feel for what is needed. If you don’t have enough gifts for everyone to take home, give your gifts to the teachers so they can use them for the school in general. Here are suggested gift items, if you do wish to bring something on the last day:
- School supplies, such as notebooks and pencils
- English teaching DVD for the school- can be cartoons or educational. They have a dvd player and black and white tv.
- Recess games (jump ropes, balls, cards) but be ready to teach them how to use them so they continue to be used when you leave.
- Food! If you bring this, make sure you have enough for everyone by asking how many children will be there and rounding up the number for extras who may come.
Spread the Word
Don’t forget to write about your experiences on your blog or elsewhere to share your stories and to raise awareness.
Please leave a comment with the following info so this may be a help to future volunteers!
What activities/ lessons did you share?
What would you suggest for future volunteers?