Voice History

The declaration of the Year 2001 as the International Year of the Volunteer (IYV) paved the way to various initiatives in promoting volunteerism.

A succeeding confluence of factors gave rise to the creation of VOICE network. Most salient among these were:
The Ugnayan ng Pahinungod System of the University of the Philippines organized a Convention of Academic Volunteer Program stakeholders and their partners in February 2001.

Beginning of the first quarter of 2001, consultations were held with program partners and non-government organizations. This was undertaken in line with a program review of a Philippine-based southern volunteer program.

An International Conference to address the role of volunteerism in strengthening civil society in developing countries was convened in SEARSOLIN-Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City in December 2001.

These gatherings revealed a common aspiration of volunteers and volunteer managers. They expressed the need for a mechanism that would facilitate the exchange of learning and resources among volunteers. Special mention was made of the need to ensure the adequate representation of the volunteer groups in Visayas and Mindanao.

A Task Force to pursue this proposal was subsequently formed with Grace Aguiling-Dalisay as Coordinator and Myrna Aboniawan-Siose and Ruben Gamala as Members.

Over the next two years, the Task Force organized a series of National Consultative Workshops . These were aimed at validating the need and structure of the proposed mechanism.

The workshop discussions resulted in a consensus to form a duly registered, autonomous national
organization of volunteers
.

The College of Social Sciences & Philosophy (CSSP) of the UP Diliman provided a strategic support by hosting the VOICE National Office at Benton Hall.

Subsequent partnerships were established with PNVSCA and the Pambansang Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (PSSP) volunteering research project.

This local initiative found its first international partner, VSO with the latter's programmatic redirection towards support for national volunteering.

In keeping with the goals of the proposed network, the group later came to be known as the Volunteer Organizations Information Coordination and Exchange, Inc. (VOICE) . The Task Force, later joined by Timothy Gabuna, Vanessa Valencia and Chona Ignalaga evolved into a management team of national & regional coordinators. On September 2003, VOICE was registered as a non-stock, non-profit organization at SEC.

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