Grant Montgomery Travelogue: Volunteer Interns
Rise Above Foundation Cebu is currently hosting 34 student teachers from Denmark here in the Philippines, this particular group specializing in behavior sciences, who are each placed in needy schools and institutions for the 3 – 6 months that they do their internship. (In addition, Rise Above also hosts medical and dental students who often carry out their practicum working with children from the slums, and other needy sectors, working as part of their dental programs, and so forth.)
Rise Above likewise place teachers with an Australian missionary organization whose sole aim is to help poor children secure a future outside the slums, through helping them learn to read and write and preparing them for a full education.
We visited this institution today, an oasis of hope smack dab in the middle of a garbage dump, accompanied by 3 Danish volunteers (pictured above) who had just helped out in a Rise Above feeding program.
Many would find the conditions we encountered today as unbelievable, children and families living on and in a garbage dump, sorting recyclable trash as a way of eking out a meager existence, amidst flies and open sewers. Having said this, it always amazes me to see how happy, friendly and buoyant these dear people are, a wonderful trait of the Filipinos.
This year Rise Above is also undertaking a microfinance program, providing loans to fund enterprising small businesses as a means of helping individuals out of their present cycle of poverty.