RAFI notes need for more venues for community volunteerism
by Rachelle M. Nessia
DUMAGUETE CITY, July 15 (PIA) -– So many willing volunteers but so little opportunity for them to help.
This was the concern aired by Dominica Chua, chief operating officer of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) in a press conference held at Foundation University, Dumaguete City today as she noted the lack of venues in Visayas and Mindanao where Filipinos can voluntarily transform lives and communities.
“Filipinos are helpful by nature and there are many who are willing to volunteer to help others, but the problem is where can they do this? There are not many venues for volunteerism out there,” she said.
She added that the Filipino youths are especially “hungry to find out what they can do to be of help to the community.”
Chua urged private and public institutions to organize events that will serve as venues for people to volunteer and be involved in charity work such as the Gawad Kalinga housing projects.
The RAFI chief's observation comes in the wake of 15 years of searching, validating and recognizing individuals and institutions who make significant contributions to community and social development under the RAFI Triennial Awards.
To date, 48 Filipinos in Visayas and Mindanao, of which five come from Negros Oriental, have been recognized by RAFI for their “selfless deeds and continuing ministry” that created transformation and development in the community.
RAFI awardees from the province are, namely: Dr. Gerardo Maxino who founded the Philippine Physics Society and Maxino College that offers an aggressive scholarship program for 50% of the college's student population; Dr. Chelsa Cacaldo who established the community-run primary hospital in Inapoy, Mabinay for indigent families and where she also initiated the “Peso for Health” program; Perpetual Help Credit Cooperative, Inc. and its former manager Edilberto Lantaca, Jr.; and St. Catherine Family Helper Foundation, Inc. (RMN/PIA Negros Oriental)