LO 2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
LO 4: Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
For service, we worked with Gawad Kalinga (GK), an NGO headquartered in Manila, Philippines. We were allocated in a community in Laguerta, an hour away from the airport. We were there from Sunday to Wednesday and stayed with a host family. On the first day, we met with members of GK who talked to us about the NGO’s interesting history how the founder made a deal with communities for them to serve him coffee and in return, he helps them build houses. While we were there, in the morning we would do house building. After lunch, we would have about an hour break to plan and prepare activities for children of the community.
This is the first time I have ever participated in house building. Our tasks includes: bagging the gravel and cement and transporting them. Bagging was fine but transporting the materials was quite tough. On the first day, they were mixing cement to build the new staircase. This was quite eyeopening as in Singapore, we often see cement being mixed within a machine but here, they mix it manually and fill them in buckets which is passed along in an assembly line. The buckets were quite heavy for us and we had to carry them with two hands but the community members could carry two or three buckets at a time. Another type of transportation we did was carrying bags of dry cement and gravel to different locations. Initially we were quite inefficient as not only were the bags heavy, the heat was also extremely strong which lead to more frequent breaks. We then took inspiration from the previous day and set up a line so we each have a shorter distance to cover. This allowed us to finish the work faster. We also persevered through the heat, there were many opportunities and offers to take a break but we pulled through and maximised the time spent, housebuilding. Although we felt that we perhaps slowed down their work process, the local community reassured that we were great help. Throughout the two days, the community has been nothing but supportive. In the afternoon we would do crafts and play games with the children. Since our housebuilding hours were cut short, we made up for it with longer hours with the kids. It did not always go as planned as the children had different interests than we expected. For example, we thought that they would spend more time playing with play-doh but they actually preferred colouring paper. This made us more adaptable and flexible with the immediate changes ahead of us. After a long day in the scorching weather, people thanked us for helping with the housebuilding process as well as the children’s reactions to our activities, they stayed over time because they genuinely enjoyed the activities.
Most of the points about cooking were covered in the video so here are the photos