In a truly transformative journey, Catholic Regional College North Keilor (CRCNK) embarked on an immersion trip to the Philippines, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of both the volunteers and the communities they served. Led by dedicated staff members, Mariel Muyco and Jason Hunter, and accompanied by eight compassionate Year 9 students, this immersion trip proved to be an extraordinary experience of empathy and action. Working with the Canossian Daughters of Charity in Tondo and partnering with Gawad Kalinga in Alapan, the CRCNK volunteers made a profound impact on the lives of underprivileged families, fostering a more compassionate, inclusive, and equitable society for all.
During their time with Gawad Kalinga, the CRCNK volunteers engaged in a variety of activities geared towards uplifting the community. One of their significant achievements was participating in the construction of building foundations, known as ‘ground zero.’ Working tirelessly under the sweltering 37-degree heat alongside local community members, the volunteers learned the true value of teamwork, perseverance, and collective action. Witnessing firsthand the impact of their efforts on underprivileged families, as they helped construct safe and dignified homes, filled their hearts with joy and gratitude. The experience instilled a profound sense of fulfillment and reinforced the importance of giving back to those in need.
The CRCNK volunteers also took part in the Kusina ng Kalinga Feeding program, a heartwarming initiative aimed at providing warm and nutritious meals to seventy-five children. Engaging with the young ones, the volunteers developed empathy and appreciation for the importance of sustenance in nurturing young minds and bodies. The inclusion of interactive game activities further enriched their experience with Gawad Kalinga, promoting interaction, laughter, and bonding among the volunteers, the Alapan community members, and the beneficiaries. These moments of joy, unity, and camaraderie showcased the power of human connection and kindness.
During their immersion, the CRCNK volunteers experienced firsthand the power of the Filipino spirit. A special 15th birthday celebration was organized by the community for Cruz, a CRCNK student volunteer. This heartfelt event brought joy, celebration, and a deep sense of belonging not only to Cruz but to the entire immersion group. It was a beautiful reminder of the lasting impact of human connections made during the trip and the profound effect of simple acts of kindness.
Through their transformative experiences in the Philippines, CRCNK volunteers became catalysts for positive change. Their dedication and compassion instilled hope and inspiration in the lives of the underprivileged families they served. The immersion trip reinforced the values of empathy, inclusion, and solidarity, shaping the volunteers into responsible global citizens who are committed to making a difference.
The CRCNK Immersion Trip to the Philippines in partnership with Gawad Kalinga was a journey of heart and soul, where empathy and action came together to create positive change. Through building homes, nourishing souls, and celebrating human connections, the volunteers left an enduring impact on the lives of others. This experience will forever resonate in their hearts, fostering a more compassionate, inclusive, and equitable society for all. The trip stands as a testament to the power of collective effort and the profound transformation that can arise from acts of kindness and empathy.