Words by Alyssa Joie F. Tablada
Art by Bea Tronco
Launched last June 16, the Re_Action program of Makesense Philippines enables volunteers to collectively find ways with other Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in response to the global pandemic. Currently on its second batch, the program continues to prove that small acts of compassion can make a huge impact. By just allotting around one hour per day at the safety of his home, Gabby Subido, a Supermobilizer under the program, helps people in vulnerable communities cope with the new normal.
Just like every other teenager, Gabby’s day usually comprises of studying, sleeping, eating, watching his favorite shows, and doing household chores. Initially, Gabby only wanted to do something to improve and gain some skills during the quarantine. As he was browsing his feed, he just stumbled upon one of the advertisements for the Re_Action program. Little did he know that joining the program will change his life.
According to Gabby, volunteers have the freedom to choose which tasks they want to do from their library of tasks.
Another thing that sets apart the Re_Action program from others is that they help other initiatives extend their reach instead of doing another initiative. Gabby is currently working with Laraw sa Isla for Project EskwelaJuan, a donation drive that aims to help students from San Francisco, Cebu to prepare for modular learning. The donation drive aims to give students keypad phones so that they can text their teachers whenever they need to ask questions once classes start.
Similar to a caterpillar undergoing metamorphosis, Gabby gained more confidence and leadership skills for the duration of the program. But more than these set of skills, what Gabby really gained is the feeling of fulfillment whenever he helps others and seeing its effect just by allotting around one hour every day.
As part of the youth sector, we are always being questioned about what is our contribution or ambag to the solution. This further proves that being part of the youth sector is not a hindrance to help others during this pandemic once given the proper platform and resources; just like Gabby, the smallest things that we can contribute can play a huge impact in the long run.
However, volunteering and engaging in donation drives is not a requirement but only a means to help. We also have to acknowledge that access to gadgets and internet connectivity is a privilege.
We can contribute not only by utilizing the resources that are at our disposal but also by simply staying physically and mentally healthy at our homes, checking on our friends and relatives, battling fake news, wearing our face masks and face shields properly, and going outside only if necessary.
In this time where one cannot help but feel hopeless because of the dire circumstances, we take hope and inspiration from these dedicated people who are willing to go the extra mile and collaborate just to lend a helping hand. Although we still cannot see the light at the end of this tunnel and we may experience a lot of setbacks before this pandemic ends, one thing is for sure: we can only attain our goals and prosper as a nation through collaboration, one step at a time.
Makesense’s Re_Action program will guide you to make an immediate impact. Upon signing up, you will be grouped with 10-15 people and will be provided with the necessary tools to (1) assess your community’s needs and (2) propose concrete ideas to support those who need it most. Through everyday acts of compassion – be it finding transportation for our frontliners, organizing events to make DIY hygiene kits, or even reaching out to people who need mental health support – you can make a real impact. Through the Re_Action program, you will be helping design solutions to solve fundamental issues in water access, electricity and energy, hygiene and sanitation, healthcare, and housing. For more information, visit: https://philippines.makesense.org/re_action/
AJ resides in Metro Manila, Philippines and is currently a Sensereporter for Makesense Philippines. Her role focuses on writing content for social good. AJ pushes for Quality Education for All and Media Awareness.
Bea is an Advertising Management student in Metro Manila, Philippines and is passionate about the intersection between creativity and business.