• Philippines

Program Details

Host Family
Sep 18, 2019
Oct 19, 2015
13 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Volunteer for the Visayans currently offers 13 volunteer programs in the Philippines, all in or around Tacloban City. The goal is to build a stronger community and free children and adults from the shackles of poverty. Some of or projects include community outreach, education, medical assistance, women's rights, and construction projects.
Please contact us to learn more about volunteering in the Philippines with Visayans, or how you can provide a donation to support children in need. It doesn't take much to make a positive impact in your world!

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Yes, I recommend this program

A Life Altering Experience

The amount of love I have for the community of Tacloban and specifically the VFV stakeholders has always continued since my first experience. To provide help and support to them through donation and volunteering, is an easy contribution for the amount of impact it makes. Even 3 years past my first experience, I am still heavily involved in the organization and will continue to be as I develop my long-term philanthropist plan. VFV, continue doing what you do!

27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The experience of being part of it

I simply loved my time in the Visayans.
VFV offers a program, that let you become part of helper's movement and you will feel so good about seeing the results. The eyes of happy children and the gratitude of the people are things, that I still see today, when I close my eyes.
Plus I never imagined, how quickly and easyly one becomes a member of the community you live in.
Those (mostly poor) people will accept you and share their days and lifes with you, if you want.
I experiemced so much and I still profit from it every day

31 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My Blissful time in the Philippines!

I stayed in Bliss, Tacloban City, with a family for one unforgettable month, no where near long enough, wish I was still there now! The first four days were really difficult, party because I was tired from the 30 hour journey, but mainly because I found it so difficult to get used to the noises at night; coming from a quiet village in Cheshire, England, to a busy community where all the houses are joined and there are so many animals (roosters, dogs, cats, pigs etc)! This made it hard for me to sleep, and by the fourth night I was going mad - so I had a stern word with myself 'seriously – GET IT TOGETHER HOLLY!!' - I realised that I just needed to let the fears fade and accept it was different, but try to embrace it rather than worry about it. The next morning I woke up after an amazing sleep and my anxieties never returned. I think it was normal for every volunteer to be overwhelmed at first, and important to just enjoy the challenge, accepting it may be a little hard a first but that’s normal.

The community were so welcoming, especially the children who whenever they saw me walking, would always say 'Hello, what is your name?', and wave and me and smile! My home-stay family made me feel so at home, and although the children were a little shy at first, we soon made friends and played games and had so much fun every night; such as making treasure maps to find the hidden treasure around the house, and paper airplanes, and card games, never a quiet moment. We went out to the beach together for the day and hired a karaoke machine; this was one of my favourite days! We also went for a meal together on my last night, which was so lovely. I would really recommend volunteers to spend quality time with their home-stay families and get to know them as this is one of the greatest things about the trip – living with local people and experiencing their culture, I much prefer this to staying in a closeted hotel or resort and not really knowing anything about the outside community! The local people were always smiling, helping eachother on and off the jeepneys, moving in their seats to fit each other on, the jeepney’s even reversed for passengers if they had driven past – things you would NEVER see in England! I felt extremely safe at all times in my trip, regardless of their not appearing to be much consideration for health and safety in general – especially road safety LOL.

My placement was the Nutrition project, which was a feeding programme in a nearby community. Every weekday, I would travel with another volunteer to the next town, Tanauen, go to the market with the 400 Peso a day budget, and buy enough fresh food to cook for 20-30 children. We then went to the Barangay Hall (like a village hall), to make the food and awaited the arrival of the local children, and their mothers at around 10:30am. When we had time before the meal, we would sing songs with the children, such as 'I'm a little teapot' / 'Head shoulders knees and toes', we sometimes drew pictures with them which they all enjoyed. Once the children had said a prayer, they could come and collect their portion of food; often we had enough for seconds, depending on how many we had attending. Aside from the budget, we liked to buy them extra fruit for after, such as bananas, pineapple (they have the most amazing tasting pineapple they have in The Philippines), and raisins. We weighed the children, took their height and mid upper arm circumference, every two weeks, and created detailed profiles of them so we could follow their progress. As part of the feeding program, we conducted a nutrition seminar at a local elementary school, and another seminar at our feeding program. I really enjoyed giving these seminars, as the people listening always seemed very interested and welcoming of any nutrition advice; a lot different to my experience back home! At our feeding program seminar, we talked to the mothers about things they could do themselves such as growing their own vegetables, and possibly setting up a mother’s food co-op. A member of staff from VFV kindly translated a booklet we had made, and another member of staff attended our seminar to translate it as we went along, a huge help! The responsibility given to us on the project was great; the main thing I would say for future volunteers is how important it is to get to know the clients from the program, and then take initiative on organising activities with them; building up a relationship with the mothers helped us to find a theme for our seminar. VFV leave the project down to you and put a lot of trust in to you, which is a really great experience.

The VFV staff were wonderful, always so friendly and even though the office was often hectic with volunteers hanging around, children up and down the stairs and playing in the centre after school, music blaring from the outside where people were practising their dance routines (Filipino people love to sing and dance); the staff didn’t seem to stress out or even notice the madness going on around them! I loved the atmosphere at the centre and whenever any volunteers had a query, staff were happy to help every time. Taking part in tutorials was something each volunteer could get involved with; I tutored a ten year old girl and we got along really well, made great friends and had a giggle together, as well as maths, spelling and geography of course! Teaching was something I had never done, but really enjoyed making activity sheets and having to think on my feet. One thing I realised though is how bad I am at Geography and how handy ‘Google’ is when you can’t remember a capital city, or even how many continents there are – oh dear, haha.

I could literally go on for hours about how much I enjoyed staying in Tacloban City. Once I had overcome the jetlag and sleep issue, it went swimmingly from there; I no longer heard the noises at night, I loved the food, I loved the heat, I made some great friends with volunteers who I know I will keep in touch with, I went on some great excursions with VFV, and trips away at weekends; I feel privileged to have been involved with this organisation and to have stayed in such a beautiful place, The Philippines is absolutely stunning. I will openly admit, I had extreme worries before I came about travelling alone (which I had never done before), earthquakes, tsunami’s, kidnappings, not making friends, not having enough knowledge to make an impact on the project, getting bitten by mosquito’s etc - the very morbid list goes on. But once I arrived and settled in, these worries seemed a million miles away. I think it is very easy to pay too much attention to stories in the paper or on TV and think you know a place you haven’t even been to, but I have learned that this is so wrong and your main fears and preconceptions will undoubtedly disappear when you settle in and experience The Philippines for what it really is, amazing! If you are debating whether or not to go, don’t even think about it, just book a flight and get gone!

27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

This place was awesome! Such a great experience!

This was my first time volunteering abroad, and I did it all on my own. I was in the Philippines for one month and worked on the feeding program in Tanauan, a 45 minute Jeepney ride from Tacloban city M-F. I loved getting to know the kids, the other volunteers, my host family, and the staff for the VFV. Filipinos are the friendliest people I have ever met. They are so willing to go out of their own way to accommodate others. Although it was a culture shock when I got there, I learned to adjust through out the weeks. I would most definitely recommend volunteering through the VFV. I wouldn't trade my experience in the Philippines for anything!

28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

a truly wonderful experience

Volunteering for VFV gives you the chance to make a difference to many people's lives, in a fun & friendly setting. Living with a local Filipino family helps you to become well integrated into the local community and learn about the real Filipino culture (and the delicious food!).

All the volunteer programmes enable you to make a positive difference to a community, and you have the chance to get involved in many different programmes if you wish, such as visiting the orphanage or building a new home and visiting the dumpsite community centre, which gives you a more rounded experience.

The highlights were definitely the people I met (Filipino and other volunteers), because it's the friendliest nation in the world! And it's so easy to travel around as you are given a full induction by the volunteer centre and everyone speaks English so there are no problems with communication.

Highly recommended if you are looking to go by yourself as well, as there are always plenty of volunteers, particularly during the summer months.

27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The realization of how lucky we are.

I learned a lot during the experience in the volunteering at Visayas, Philippines. Not only I realized how lucky I am, but also I realized how much help this world needs. This past experience would be in my memory forever.

27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Amazing program. The staff are incredible and always available. From placements in health clinics, nutrition programs,volunteering at local orphanage, teaching opportunities and various other charitable projects including the Dumpsite Project and Build-a-Home, Volunteer for the Visayans is a program so diverse that there is bound to be something for everyone to participate in. The Philippines is an amazing country with a wonderful culture. The experience is something you will remember for a lifetime!

27 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers