The Official Publication of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines

A Volunteer's Experience: On being called and chosen

Written by Gian Carlo Abellana,RN* - VYLH Mindanao Pioneer

"Never stop dreaming, never stop imagining cause it doesn’t cost you anything”. 

This line remained within me after a training camp (Volunteer Youth Leaders For Health Philippines) that I have once attended in 2009. It started all the success which I have garnered now. At the same time it inspired me and boosted me to achieve all my dreams.

I truly believe in the saying “Many have been called but only few are chosen”.

Before, it was just a dream. But now, it has become a reality when a group of Youth Volunteers coming from various parts of the Philippines was created which aims to be a part of a National Project with high impact on Public Health. I can still vividly recall how this Organization started and evolved. It was the 17th-19th of July last year in Tagaytay City when 20 Schools/Colleges/Universities and 12 Community Organizations  from various parts of the country were gathered in a camp which was co-sponsored and organized by the Institute of Human Genetics - National Institutes of Health of the UP-Manila, Department of Health and The UP Los Baños Genetics Society. We were then a small family, but a family with great aspirations.

And today, it had successfully expanded its number of volunteers all over the archipelago with continuing efforts among members to promote our advocacies on Newborn Screening, Folic Acid Supplementation Awareness and Birth Defects Prevention, and Rare Diseases.

Being a part of the pioneering members of the VYLH-Philippines is indeed a great honor and pride. It also gives us an opportunity to widen our horizons and improve our leadership skills, but with such opportunity comes great tasks and responsibilities as member of the organization. Being part of this prestigious group, I was able to meet new friends from all over the Philippines. It also gave me the chance to travel anywhere in the country for free. And being a member for almost a year now, I would say I had a great rollercoaster ride! There were a lot of excitements and surprises along the way. My experience as a VYLH member would definitely be so momentous and cannot be bought by either silver or gold because in here we treat each other as one family who share and care. 

The fire continues burning as VYLH-Philippines spreads its wings to advocate the populace. It just simply shows that we have not surrendered hope in our country and abandoned the ideals of which our National Hero Jose Rizal have pleaded that we the “Youth are the future of this country”. All of us must represent the best of the very best among the Filipino Youth. With intense and dedicated endeavor we can ultimately win the goal of the national greatness and champion projects to improve the health of Filipinos.

Well, I can truly say that VYLH is not just an organization but a passion and vocation where dedicated people are called and chosen.
*Gian Carlo Abellana is a licensed nurse and graduate of the Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte.


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