Volunesia: The Filipino Way


Andrew Roberts is a retired hospital administrator and US Navy serviceman. He has spent his life in the health field, helping to ensure care provided is to the best quality possible. Below is a collection of pictures, as well as some of the most important lessons Andrew learned during his time volunteering at Project Cavite.

Lesson One: Flexibility is Key

When Andy arrived at Project Cavite, things were very different. In the two weeks that he volunteered with FIMRC, the schedule had to be adjusted several times to accommodate changes with community member schedules, the University of the Philippines, and cultural habits. He also had to adjust to differences in food, space, and showering! All in all he had an extremely positive attitude, and appreciated learning about another culture through immersion.

Lesson Two: Follow Up is Important

During his time volunteering, Andrew spent time working on collecting data for the University of the Philippines (UP). FIMRC works with UP in collecting data so that programs created can be built based on what we see as the highest need in the community! Sometimes it's difficult to track data on all patients seen, as there can be thousands of patients within different communities in the area. It becomes infinitely more difficult when there is not the technology to easily enter data. Luckily, we are able to use computers for this data, which helps better analyze the results that come through from these screenings!

Lesson Three: Volunesia

Volunesia is a noun created within Filipino vocabulary that means, "That moment when you forget you're volunteering to help change lives, because it's changing yours." Andrew most certainly experienced this during his time at Project Cavite, particularly when Solomon Jr. San Pablo expressed his immense appreciation for the care that volunteers have for their community. Andy came to understand that two weeks is a short amount of time to make an impact as an individual, but as a part of the FIMRC organization the impact is real for the community of Cavite.