Volunteers for Community Outreach and Resource Development (VCORD), one of Xavier University’s extension units, has been recognized as a regional qualifier for the Search for Outstanding Volunteers of 2010, organization category. The Search is sponsored by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) with the National Volunteer Month (NVM) Steering Committee and the Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) Regional Search Committees.

VCORD is a volunteer program that started out as the Year-of-Service (YOS) Program under the Xavier Science Foundation of the College of Agriculture. YOS was re-organized as VCORD in 2009 and placed under the University’s Research and Social Outreach. However, the Year of Service Program has remained intact and continues to be the primary program of VCORD in assisting initiatives for community development.

YOS is a volunteer program for fresh graduates and young professionals who would like to give a year or two for volunteer work in poor communities within Mindanao. The volunteers work in the areas of parochial teaching, community organizing, research and documentation, promotion of sustainable agriculture, environmental advocacy, policy issue advocacy and enterprise/livelihood development.

“YOS’s role is primarily on training and preparing development leaders and professionals positioned now at strategic institutions/organizations that continue to influence the shaping of the social development landscape of Mindanao as a region,” says Myrna Siose, VCORD head.

Since it started in 1987, YOS has produced more than 300 volunteers assigned to various places in Mindanao. The volunteers are trained to become spiritual, competent and dedicated social development professionals.

These development leaders to date continue to create strategies and innovations that will respond to the needs especially of the developing communities and sectors that are almost always marginalized or underserved in the process of development. These efforts are meant to contribute in the continuous search for peace, integrity of creation, good governance and shared prosperity.

Presently, VCORD works closely with the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro as its secretariat for the Archdiocese Center for Empowerment and Social Services (ACCESS) which serves the coordinating unit of the archdiocese in mobilizing activities such as forums, symposiums and circles of discernment meetings and discussions on issues that the archdiocese strongly advocates. VCORD also provides technical assistance in facilitating the church’s continuous Organizational Development and/or Leadership Training and Formation for priests/seminarians and religious lay leaders.

VCORD hopes to Engage Partners and Volunteer Alumni in Continuing Volunteerism (Area Specific Development Innovations) where returned-alumni volunteers continue to engage in volunteer work through a more flexible time and logistical arrangements. Here, the VCORD Program will be able to tap and engage former volunteers who are now experts and in consultancy level to share their time and talent as resource persons during Formation and training of the new batches of volunteers. Under this sub-component of VCORD, dubbed Continuing Volunteer Service, alumni and former volunteers will enjoy opportunities of sharing and delivering services needed in empowering and capacitating communities needing assistance and developmental services.

VCORD also hopes to develop a program that will provide access for marginal communities to technical support/services like agricultural training on Sustainable Agriculture or Feasibility Studies on certain products from the University. Since VCORD is a school-based volunteering program, it is able to connect the communities to resources, technology or info/knowledge that sectors will need to improve their social condition and productivity, through systematic volunteering engagement.

On a similar note, a part-time faculty of the History/Political Science/International Studies Department Jo Mark Libre has been named as a regional qualifier in the youth category. Libre is actively involved in the Apostolate Social Action-Commission on Social Action of the Mindanao University of Science and Technology, where he teaches fulltime.

“Volunteering is the most rewarding way for me to make a real difference to people living in the toughest circumstances. And this passion is a response to the endless problem of our society,” says Libre who is a graduate of Political Science from the Ateneo de Davao University and earned his Master of Arts in Political Science from the Ateneo de Manila University as a CHED scholar.

“I realized how to feel genuinely happy without needing to take or receive something. This happiness I felt was actually the result of an opposite action, by giving. This is probably my most treasured learning being a volunteer,” he adds.

Libre has been active in volunteer work all throughout his life serving in the Church, the student council and the community. As a member of the Commission on Social Action also known as Apostolate Social Communication Ministry (ASCM) in the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, Libre is actively engaged in the apostolate works of the Church.

The awarding ceremony was held on December 9 during the 87th Regional Development Council-10 Full Council Meeting at the Marco Hotel, and in line with the celebration of the National Volunteer Month.  Winners of the National Outstanding Volunteer Award will be announced sometime in January.

The Search for Outstanding Volunteers gives recognition to the dedication and hard work of Filipino volunteers, and serves to showcase best practices in volunteerism across the country. It also seeks to promote greater awareness of and appreciation for the role of volunteerism in nation building. Around 80 volunteers and volunteer organizations have been awarded since 2001.On a similar note, a part-time faculty of the History/Political Science/International Studies Department Jo Mark Libre has been named as a regional qualifier in the youth category. Libre is actively involved in the Apostolate Social Action-Commission on Social Action of the Mindanao University of Science and Technology, where he teaches fulltime.

“Volunteering is the most rewarding way for me to make a real difference to people living in the toughest circumstances. And this passion is a response to the endless problem of our society,” says Libre who is a graduate of Political Science from the Ateneo de Davao University and earned his Master of Arts in Political Science from the Ateneo de Manila University as a CHED scholar.

“I realized how to feel genuinely happy without needing to take or receive something. This happiness I felt was actually the result of an opposite action, by giving. This is probably my most treasured learning being a volunteer,” he adds.

Libre has been active in volunteer work all throughout his life serving in the Church, the student council and the community. As a member of the Commission on Social Action also known as Apostolate Social Communication Ministry (ASCM) in the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, Libre is actively engaged in the apostolate works of the Church.

The awarding ceremony was held on December 9 during the 87th Regional Development Council-10 Full Council Meeting at the Marco Hotel, and in line with the celebration of the National Volunteer Month.  Winners of the National Outstanding Volunteer Award will be announced sometime in January.

The Search for Outstanding Volunteers gives recognition to the dedication and hard work of Filipino volunteers, and serves to showcase best practices in volunteerism across the country. It also seeks to promote greater awareness of and appreciation for the role of volunteerism in nation building. Around 80 volunteers and volunteer organizations have been awarded since 2001.

article from www.xu.edu.ph

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