I wrote about VSO Bahaginan a few months back. Here’s the link: VSO BAHAGINAN

Making a difference to make the world a better place is such a challenging feat. For VSO Bahaginan, a premier development organization in the Philippines, such goal is achievable by bringing people to work together. As a federation member of the international organization, VSO Bahaginan has a network of people who help them in addressing issues on poverty. It creates positive change by engaging volunteers and partners through its wide range of volunteer programs and development initiatives.

VSO Bahaginan has an ongoing project that is called the “Art for Volunteerism”. For this project, this non-profit organization pooled together 17 distinguished academics and professional visual artists from renowned universities in the Philippines, who agreed to contribute some of their works, for the realization of this project. It highlighted Filipinos’ spirit of bayanihan as the event united the lovers of art and goodwill.

The participating artists include Marco Ruben Malto II, Daniel “Dansoy” Coquilla, Benjie Cabangis, Jonathan Olazo, Mervy Pueblo, Noell EL Farol, Zean Cabangis, Riel Jaramillo Hilario, Ferdinand Cacnio, Rosscapili, Dexter Sy, William Gaudinez, Renato Agustin Ong, Andoi Solon, Rodolfo Samonte, Paolo Baen Santos, and Nestor Olarte Vinluan. A formal launch was held at the Ayala Museum recently.

True to VSO Bahaginan’s philosophy of creating a lasting change through bringing people together to share skills and knowledge, the participating artists agreed to share their skills by including select art pieces to the “Art for Volunteerism” exhibit and online selling. Through the sales generated from the charity exhibit tickets, more people are making themselves instrumental in transforming lives. The artists are also donating part of the art pieces’ sales to the program.

“With VSO, every peso you share brings people together to spark a chain reaction. You will help make life better not just for an individual or a family, but for a community or even a country,” said Malou Pantua-Juanito, executive director of VSO Bahaginan.

The funds that will be raised by the “Art for Volunteerism” project will be used to help fund the organization’s Model Forest Projects in Ulot, Samar and Carood, Bohol. This environment program is in partnership with the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The project focuses on the sustainable management of Carood Watershed in Bohol and the Ulot Watershed in Samar.

VSO Bahaginan works to support the local organizations via their specific sustainable and volunteering-based development interventions that will enable people to live harmoniously with the environment. Together with partners, VSO Bahaginan and volunteers will work in ecotourism and enterprise development, capacity-building of people’s organizations, establishment of local volunteering groups, and organizational development of the watershed councils.

“The Model Forest project does not only address environment-related issues but greatly contributes in transforming the lives of those in the community. The project hopes to see the communities flourish, where its dwellers are committed in protecting the environment because have experienced the benefit that it brings to them,” added Jacinto.

VSO invites you to be part of this drive to transform lives. Together, we can help enable our local communities become champions of environmental protection and sustainability while still allowing them to be self-sufficient and productive.

The “Art for Volunteerism” has been made possible with strong support of Globe Telecommunications, Inc., Pioneer Insurance, and American Data Exchange Corporation. Also extending assistance to the event are Riego de Dios Law Offices, Voyage Studios, and Philam Foundation, Inc.

If you want to be a stakeholder in the process of development through this initiative, visit http://artforvolunteerism.wordpress.com for details on how you can make a difference. The site contains information on the participating artists and artworks.

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