Volunteerism lies at the heart of every CSR project

Hep Benitez
One of the challenges a volunteer can face is this nagging question: 'Why am I doing this?'
VOLUNTEER. Maria Fatima Lorenzo shares her experiences as a volunteer to the participants of #PUSO. All photos by Jasmin Salazar

BATANGAS, Philippines — South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) launched its Volunteers’ Fair with the theme #PUSO: Preparing for Unstoppable Service and Opportunities as part the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on February 5, 2015 at SLTEC Office, Calaca, Batangas. 

The event aimed to educate the participants, SLTEC employees, about the benefits and possible opportunities of being a volunteer, to prepare them for the exciting world of helping and sharing; and to instill with them the true essence of volunteerism in their hearts.

The guest speaker, Maria Fatima Lorenzo, the founder of Kythe Foundation Inc., inspired the participants through her life-changing experiences in helping the children living with chronic illness in our country.

“We must influence the people that we work with so they can become changemakers in their own right,” said Ms. Lorenzo.


Volunteering is neither a profession nor a vacation. However, the rich experiences and opportunities offer numerous rewards that can produce a feeling of admiration and self-esteem. For many, volunteer work is a worthwhile activity that benefits both the giver and the receiver. 

One of the challenges a volunteer can face is this nagging question: “Why am I doing this?” (Read: Volunteerism: Changing the world one child at a time

Lorenzo shared how she almost wanted to give up her advocacy work.

“There is an inner voice asking me why will I give up? If I’ll give up, then what will happen?” she said.

Today, Lorenzo still offers her time to serve other people. 

This is the reason why there is a need to identify the reasons why people volunteer and recognize that there is a need to make it more reciprocally advantageous. 

Panelists share their experiences as volunteers to inspire and challenge participants to go beyond their limits as employees

#PUSO Discussion

The topics shared by the panelists during the forum are: working with government, politics, initiatives from private institutions, and youth involvement in nation building.

The panelists who shared their volunteer experiences include Darren Gonzales of Young Public Servants (YPS), Invictus “Vic” Buenaventura of Pilipinas Natin (PN), Richard “Chard” Amazona of Philippine Leadership and Empowerment Alliance for Development (PH-LEAD), and Danielle del Rosario of Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corporation (TA Oil). Vincent Cortiñas of Lyceum of the Philippines University – Cavite served as the moderator of the discussion. 

“If you dream for yourself, include the Philippines too!” Buenaventura advised the participants in his talk as he shared his inspiring story of heroic volunteerism.

“We are the key to have a good and able leader in our country,” Gonzaelz said as he also encouraged the participants to register and exercise the right to vote and get involved by choosing the right leader for the country.

“[A] service with the heart is our secret to have a good corporate social responsiblity (CSR) program,” Amazona said as he answered the question on how private institutions can conduct effective programs for the community.

“As a member of the company, we must do our share to our community by extending our programs to help other people in need,” del Rosario attested to the contribution of the company to national development.

The participants of the talk also wrote their commitments to serve on puzzle pieces, symbolizing that all volunteer efforts and community initiatives are part of a bigger picture of a better nation. – Rappler.com  

Hep Benitez is a Project Agos volunteer, an advocate of Safe School Philippines, and the Philippine representative for the Children and Youth Forum at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan.