Community outreach has become an indispensable practice among different volunteers at times when the public confront crucial situations which needed a prompt response. The fact that the Year 2020 has been bombarded with the global pandemic up to natural disasters is where various sectors, especially the youth, are constantly called to pour out all their efforts and resources to extend alleviation for affected folks even in the narrowest areas within the suburbs.

From the onset, underserved sectors have been struggling economically over little to access to services and now face the hardships twice, or thrice the actual burden of this lack, after the pandemic and disasters.

“Mula pandemic magpahanggang ngayon, sa bawat pagkakaroon naman ng natural disasters, tumutulong ang Tulong Kabataan Metro Manila. Hindi lamang din ito sa pagrerelief kundi sa pagmumulat din tungkol sa kalagayan ng mga tao para maigiit nila yung karapatan at serbisyo na dapat nakukuha nila mula sa gobyerno,” Tulong Kabataan Metro Manila spokesperson Lorevie Caalaman emphasized.

[From the pandemic up to now, in every natural disaster, Tulong Kabataan Metro Manila helps out. Not only in relief efforts, but also in raising awareness of the people about their rights and the services the government should grant them.]

Tulong Kabataan Metro Manila, a youth-led group of volunteers, gathered donations as strong winds and rains from typhoon Ulysses started to abate after noon on November 12. They went to Barangays Old Capital Site and Arboretum in Quezon City and brought all they gathered the following day, the typhoon having just left on the morning of November 13. They also set up a community kitchen with the help of the residents. Government has also only then called for a televised “post-disaster briefing” with the national disaster council. They went to Malanday and Tumana in Marikina–among the most-affected barangays in one of the most-affected areas–on November 14.

The group spearheads various community outreach works by making concerted efforts upon engaging, consolidating, and assessing the situation of underserved communities. They said it has been a year of relief efforts–starting from Taal Volcano, to jeepney drivers and others going hungry because of the lockdown to the several typhoons towards the end of the year.

Integration with the people is an important outreach strategy where having direct observation, community check-ups and discussions on the ground best help to understand the issues and needs that affect those of the underserved population the most. To see firsthand and know the needs of the affected people and to serve these needs is where volunteers like Tulong Kabataan Metro Manila start to help.

“May mga volunteer kaming estudyante, na nandito na kahit hindi pa nahihirapan sila sa flexible learning. ‘Yung iba, ginamit yung class suspension para magkaroon ng oras para tumulong,” shared Caalaman.

[We have volunteers who are students, who are here despite their own difficulties in flexible learning. Some of them used the class suspension to take time to help out.]

Some of their volunteers are themselves in need.

“May mga volunteer din kami na galing sa mga mahihirap na komunidad na natulungan na rin namin dati. Minsan nagpapasundo sila para makapunta rito, at ayaw naming mawalan sila ng pagkakataon na makatulong sa iba. Na kahit sila din ay hirap ay tutulong sila,” said Caalaman.

[We also have volunteers who come from poor communities that we have helped before. Sometimes, they ask us to fetch them, and we don’t want them to lose the opportunity to be able to help others. Even if they themselves experience hardship, they would still help.]

Caalaman talked of volunteers who come from urban poor communities in Metro Manila, many of them dropped out when the government shifted to distance and flexible learning as they would be unable to cope with such mode of learning.

Kaya nga mas dapat itulak ung gobyerno na mabilis na umaksyon at singilin sa kapabayaan kasi kung iyon ngang mga wala ay tumutulong, paano pa silang may hawak sa kaban ng bayan at mga rekurso, makinarya at tauhan?

[That’s why we need to push government more to act fast and to demand accountability, because even those who are lacking find time to help, what more a government  who controls the coffers of the nation, its resources, machineries and persoonel?]

As a non-profit organization, food, clothes and monetary aid came from the efforts of their donation drive. In fact, before the pandemic, the group gathered fellow artists and performers to play on street busking and gigs to collate financial support along with educating the public with regard to their cause.

A related typhoon relief drive by National Union of Students of the Philippines Metro Manila has been able to give meals and drinks to the typhoon survivors in Ilagan, Isabela as early as November 14. The group tapped its members who are back home in the provinces because of the closure of schools and the implementation of distance of flexible learning.

Photo from NUSP Metro Manila

Presently, the groups’ humanitarian initiatives continue to help communities and raise awareness among other individuals which also play a very important role to become mindful of their very actions to the nature and to the people.

Those who are willing to volunteer and donate, you may contact:

Tulong Kabataan Metro Manila

For monetary donations, you may refer to the following online banking accounts:
GCASH: 09558993410 – Lorevie Caalaman
BPI: 5576 6980 72 – Cristina Tanio Sonico

NUSP Metro Manila

You may drop in-kind donations off at:
UP Manila Student Center, UPM Annex, Padre Faura St., Ermita, Manila.
Contact 091615484081.

Donations encouraged:
1. Food Packs (Rice and Canned Goods)
2. Bottled Water
3. Face masks and Face Shields
4. Alcohol
5. Beddings

You may also send monetary support via:
GCASH Yrha Li Layug 09057901348
Development Bank of the Philippines Habagat Rene Farrales 4115031272
BPI Danna Lee Acosta 3029223768
Paypal Danna Lee Acosta Account: DannaLeeAcosta 09752802819
PAYMAYA Danna Lee Acosta 09752802819

For emergency load services, contact Stephen 09268657434.

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