Volunteerism takes center stage in peace week

CAGAYAN DE ORO -- Crossing leech-infested waters, trekking steep slopes of mud in the mountains, long walks to what seemingly would be the borders of nowhere, all for a scanty allowance that could barely cover one’s basic needs.



Such difficulties comprise an ordinary day in the life of young unsung heroes whose wage of smiles and gratitude received have become trite in years of being taken for granted.
This year, however, their work was finally acknowledged by this city’s civil society leaders.
A program called “Kanta Kalinaw” was held at the city’s Kiosko Kagawasan on Wednesday as a tribute to the volunteers and peace builders especially those working to promote Mindanao’s peace initiatives.

“It marks the closing of the Mindanao Week of Peace,” said Geraldine C. Belgica, program coordinator of the Volunteer Organizations Information Coordination and Exchange, Inc. or VOICE Network.

“It also serves as the kick-off program for the International Year of Volunteers,” she added.
It was the declaration of the International Year of the Volunteer 10 years ago that paved the way for the creation of the network.

Volunteerism, specifically in peace-related work, requires people to go out of their comfort zone.

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