First regional volunteer sharing session in Bicol held

The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) conducted the first regional sharing session in Bicol on April 23 at NEDA Region 5, Arimbay in LegazpiCity. The sharing session aimed to build network and strengthen coordination among volunteers, local partner institutions, international volunteer service organizations, PNVSCA and the NEDA regional office.

The session was attended by 18 foreign volunteers from the US Peace Corps, Korea Overseas Volunteers, Australian Volunteers for International Development and Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers assigned in the Bicol Region and 16 representatives from local partner institutions (LPIs), such as DepEd, DSWD, DTI, DENR and local government units.

NEDA Region 5 presented the regional development thrusts and priorities for 2015-2016 and volunteering opportunities. In small groups, the volunteers shared the challenges they experienced, which include communication barrier, adjustment to cultural differences, politics, and timeliness, among others. The LPIs recommended measures to strengthen linkages among volunteers and local partners, which include improved orientation of incoming volunteers, a clear action plan for an open communication line and more effective collaboration.