Volunteering in Manila: A Worthwhile and Fulfilling Adventure

Are you looking for something to do on the weekends that is worthwhile and fulfilling? Something that can let you share and express your talents? There’s a place for you! You’ll only need to pay for the fare and spend three hours of your time on it every Saturday.

Couples For Christ (CFC) and the CFC ANCOP-Tekton Foundation have organized an educational program called Cornerstone, which offers free English tutorials on reading and writing to selected elementary students of public schools who have difficulty in coping with the said subjects. The program also has a values formation part for the students and their parents.

The School

Any person, corporate employee, and Singles For Christ member can become a volunteer. The main task of a volunteer is to teach basic English to a student they select.

The program usually runs from June to March every year on every Saturday morning except holidays and days of community conferences. Selected high schools also have Cornerstone, which focuses on teaching Christian Leadership and values formation to selected students.

Kids Values Formation

I started volunteering at Cornerstone at Andres Bonifacio Elementary School in Pasay City two years ago. It was the assigned school for our SFC Chapter. We were given an orientation as part of the training on handling and teaching public school students.

Actions: The new commandment I give to you is to love one another as I have loved you.

There were only a few of us when the formal session began, so I had to choose at least two students. I picked a girl and a boy who were full of energy. Even if I had to get ready early in the morning, they motivated me to get up. How could my tutees learn if I would be absent? Though absences are permissible, I do not like it because the kids will not learn enough and the bond will be disconnected.

I had an easy time handling those kids because they knew how to listen and obey me as their tutor. I could see that they were willing to learn because they were always present and always participated in our tutorial sessions.

One-on-One Tutorial

Last year, I attended the Cornerstone Teach Expo (Echo) at Bangkal Elementary School. We had a whole day of enjoyable training, which included the topic How to do Storytelling and How to Handle Difficult Types of Children and Different Learning Activities/Games for Children.

My first day at Cornerstone involved orienting the parents and students about the program. Due to prior commitments, I only started attending the formal Saturday class in September.

I randomly picked a tutee: a girl student, whose tutor was absent. I was fortunate to get her because she was a fast and obedient learner.

Me and My Tutee

She was already familiar with the alphabet, though didn’t know all the letters. When I taught her new words, she listened to my instructions and did as she was told.

Game: Body Shaping of Letters

She was also very outspoken during our tutorial sessions. I remember her telling me that she saw me in her dream the night before our first meeting. She also expressed her appreciation when we prayed before our tutorial. We both enjoyed our one-on-one session because it went harmoniously and we chatted like friends.

The Letter H. After students correctly shape the given letter, they are given chocolate as a reward.

Being part of Cornerstone, I get to share my knowledge as an educated person, as well as help shape a student’s positive future. Another great thing I love about it is that I get to share more about Jesus Christ and His love for the students and parents. I also get to know new people through the volunteers.

(ALSO READ: LOOK: Thousands Volunteer to Begin the Rehabilitation of Manila Bay)

Cornerstone Volunteers

Want to experience what it feels like? Looking for a partner school near you? Check them out on Facebook!




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