Supporting Local News

Galway third-level student heads to work with Philippines’ Badjao community

A Clifden woman is all set to depart for Philippines on a four-week ethical volunteer programme with Irish charity, SERVE.

Martha Lilly O’Callaghan will leave in July after completing three months of pre-departure training, travelling with ten others to work with the Badjao community in Cebu.

But to get there, she has embarked on a fundraising drive – setting up her own GoFundMe page.

“I grew up in a household where volunteering in the community was the norm and as soon as I was able to, I volunteered. I am aware that I have grown up with great privilege, only through luck and I am keen to give something back,” she says.

“I am currently studying social care practice in ATU Sligo. As a secondary school student, I enjoyed volunteering with local youth services and helped deliver programmes to local Irish and Ukrainians young people,” she adds.

SERVE is a development and volunteering organisation based in Cork city, committed to tackling poverty in the majority world. They currently work in India, Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Philippines, and Mozambique.

SERVE’s work contributes to the 17 Global Goals. As a part of their commitment to becoming Global Citizens, volunteers engage in an extensive training programme in the months leading up to their placement overseas.

The training focusses on understanding challenges and barriers to community development. All volunteers also learn about self-care to support their Global citizenship. Check for more information.

While on placement in Philippines, Martha and others in the group will be doing activities like caring for young children through play, songs, crafts and more, as well as facilitating English lessons and more besides.

“I am looking forward to experiencing another culture and being able to share what I have learnt at home with the people I will meet,” she says.

Martha needs all the help to help make an impact – to support her fundraising efforts, she.

Pictured: Martha Lilly O’Callaghan from Clifden, who is preparing to go to volunteer with the Badjao community in the Philippines with SERVE.

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