Gawad Kalinga was able to build with its beneficiaries about 2500 “intentional communities” all over the country since the end of the 1990’s. Many of these villages are today located in the province where there are too few opportunities to provide decent jobs for everyone. This is why those villages are encouraged to launch micro-enterprise initiatives to provide livelihood for the community.
Every year nearly 200 French “Short Term Volunteers” spend up to 3 months in GK villages to co-build or support these micro-enterprise initiatives through funding and project development. The mission of a Community Coordinator is to integrate the Movement Building team of full-time Filipino GK volunteers for at least 2 years and support them in ensuring sustainability of these micro-enterprise initiatives. The Community Coordinator will immerse in up to 5 villages from the same province, where he will rotate regularly in order to follow-up advancement of the projects.
Upstream, he/she will review / challenge the relevance of the initiative of micro-entreprise recommended by the local GK-Coordinator or GK-Caretaker as well as its capital & operational budget, and its roadmap for a descent execution on the field. He / she will evaluate what are the key success factors and the major strengths & weaknesses the volunteers may face.
He / She will liaise with the team of int’l volunteers:
before their visit to explain the environment, the expectations, and to optimize their fund-raising campaign for the initial (or scale-up) CAPEX needed.
during their stay in the community, to ensure the process of co-construction with the locals and to follow-up on the whole project including its roadmap for sound execution. To give advices for proper smooth & solid relay with the locals at least a week before the volunteers leave the community.
after their visit (or downstream), to check how confident & successful is the local team now in charge of this micro-business. Give advices to ensure its sustainability, its potential for scale-up, and co-decide whether or not, and when, it makes sense to bring a new team of int’l volunteers.
These missions are currently conducted in 2 provinces of the Philippines, and probably 6 provinces (3 in Luzon, 3 in The Visayas) by the end of the year, in immersion in GK villages. A total of 6 pairs of Community coordinators are expected (each one staying for 6 to 12 months) under the leadership of the one VSI (La DCC).
Integration and competences required
The Community Coordination mission requires high adaptability, autonomy and humility in order to work effectively in a Filipino context of poverty. Volunteers have to be ready as well to face very simple living conditions (use public transportation regularly, stay in host families…) and be willing to live a human and cultural experience (community life).
Various skills can be put to use in such mission: agronomy, community development, business, engineering or project management. All volunteers should have good communication and organizational skills. Having pedagogic skills is a plus, since with every project there is an important part of awareness raising (in order to implement new ways of doing for instance).
Schedule of the mission
Upon arrival in the Philippines, volunteers are brought to the Gawad Kalinga headquarters in Metro Manila (Mandaluyong City) in order to undergo an introduction to the organization and the mission for one to two days. After that, the volunteers join their GK coordinator in the assigned province.
After a few days going around to be introduced to the different communities, the volunteers will start staying for longer periods in each village (at least a week) to advance on the projects. Once a month, the volunteers will be gathered in GK headquarters in Manila to meet with the whole Movement Building team in order to process current advancements and challenges and set targets for the coming 4 weeks.
A room with a shower, electricity and drinkable water is provided by Gawad Kalinga through its backbone.
Transportation expenses from one village to another and for the monthly reunion in Manila will be reimbursed by the Movement Building team. Coordinators will cover their food expenses and contribute to utility expenses of the host families (a maximum of 350 pesos (6,5€) a day).
Objectives of a Community Coordination Mission
Be at the service of communities of Filipinos who have been left behind to support them in regaining their dignity by building sustainable shared businesses. Apply your skills, talents, passions & efforts in all respect of the community’s will and ambition. The presence of people, whether they are foreigners or not, by their side as they build these shared businesses is an extraordinary source of motivation & affirmation for these communities.
On the personal level, you will learn about social entrepreneurship at the grassroots and to what extent it can bring sustainable opportunities for poor rural areas. You will experience as well living in a very different socio-cultural environment, allowing you to better understand economic, social and emotional poverty.
We are looking for interns and volunteers showing the following personal abilities or eager to develop them: autonomy, initiative, entrepreneurial spirit, empathy, perseverance, resilience, humility, optimism, adaptability, humility and self-discipline.
We invite you to join our program to discover how you can put your skills, talents and passions for something meaningful while going through a unique cultural experience.