In January 2017, I took off on a trip of a lifetime to volunteer in Philippines for 3 weeks with Projects Abroad. This was my first time travelling by myself and my first time volunteering, so I was so pleased that I chose Projects Abroad who provided me with continual support from the moment I applied up until a week after I arrived home.
I volunteered in the Occupational Therapy (OT) program in San Remegio, Cebu at a small rehabilitation centre. The rehab centre is reliant on local physiotherapy (PT) interns and PT or OT volunteers to provide therapy to local people with disabilities. Being the first OT to volunteer in San Remigio, it was a truly rewarding experience being able to make a difference to the lives of individuals who can not afford allied health services.
During my time in San Remigio, I stayed with a beautiful host family who lived only a few minutes from the beach. My family was so welcoming and I truly could not believe how hospitable they were. I had my own room (which is a luxury in the Philippines) with a comfy bed, a fan, and a wardrobe to keep my belongings. I was cooked 3 meals a day by either my host mum or my host family had a small restaurant next door where I generally ate lunch. My host family made me feel part of the family straight away and I joined them for birthday celebrations, BBQs on the beach, karaoke and weekend road trips to the city.
The best part about volunteering with Projects Abroad is all the wonderful people you meet - not only did I have the pleasure of working with the wonderful Projects Abroad staff and my host family, but I also was able to meet other volunteers in my area at organised social events and during my spare time.
Volunteering with Projects Abroad allowed me to develop new skills, see new places, experience a different culture, meet lifetime friends and make a small difference to the world!