Anna Hlavacek is a volunteer that has been involved in several Reledev projects. She has taught disadvantaged children in the poorer areas of India and the Philippines.
“Volunteering for RELEDEV and being involved in RELEDEV sponsored service projects instilled within me a passion for humanitarian aid. It wasn’t until I became involved in RELEDEV sponsored service projects that I knew the true meaning of serving the disadvantaged. When I went with a group of young women to India in 2010 and to Metropolitan Manila in 2012, as well as being involved in various Australian service projects, RELEDEV’s mission of providing relief, education and development became abundantly clear to me.
By teaching disadvantaged children in the poorer regions of both India and the Philippines, as well as working with the mentally and physically disabled and disadvantaged women, I was able to experience firsthand compassion in action. Compassion was no longer a mere matter of feelings; it was acting upon it. Compassion extending beyond a merely static outlook to a hands on service based approach is a key aspect of all RELEDEV sponsored projects, and is what makes all of RELEDEV’s work highly appealing. By volunteering for RELEDEV I have seen the worthwhile difference being made. The efforts that I have seen by volunteers on various projects can be likened to a stone being thrown into a pond whereby from that one stone comes forth one ripple then another and another.
As a volunteer I have also gained many benefits by giving of myself, because volunteering not only enables one to reach out to others but to also gain values such as providing relief, continuous learning and cooperation. Until I visited the children’s ward of the Philippines general hospital with colouring books, crayons and various gift donations it had not dawned on me how such a small gesture could relieve a disadvantaged child, even if for a moment, from their suffering.
I would challenge anyone who is unsure of volunteering to take the plunge and get involved with RELEDEV’s untiring efforts, from something as simple as subscribing to their e-newsletter to donating or sharing your time and talents, such as being involved in service projects or work camps. I would also encourage those who have been a service project or work camp volunteer in the past to touch base with RELEDEV and register as alumni in support of this great cause.”