There is perhaps nothing more fulfilling than making someone smile, especially knowing that you might have just made their day a little better. This goes to hospital volunteerism – helping children with chronic illnesses live a more colorful and joyful life. Conversely, hospital volunteers would say that their day has also become brighter after spending just a few hours with children with chronic illnesses.
This is a day in the life of a UP Flyer, one who aims to demonstrate compassion for others and maintain a passion for service—service that is particularly directed towards children with chronic illnesses and their family members.
UP Flyers, a university-wide student organization in the University of the Philippines Diliman, is but one of the many organizations that seek to uphold an advocacy of care and service towards children with chronic illnesses, which involves finding ways through which could help ease their conditions, wherever and whenever possible. Through events and activities, advocacy and awareness talks, day fairs, and mainly, hospital visits, UP Flyers hopes to forward its cause little by little inside and outside the UP Diliman community to ensure a happier and friendlier world for the children.
It is, then, one of the goals of UP Flyers to not be merely aware of chronic illnesses and the stories of the children who experience them, but also to become initiators in spreading said awareness to the rest of the university community. To fulfill this, UP Flyers successfully conducted its first-ever Alternative Classroom Learning Experience (ACLE) entitled “PRIME: A Discussion on Chronic Illnesses, Hospital Volunteerism, and Child Advocacy”, last October 12, 2017 (Thursday), 1PM-5PM, at the UPSEAA Room, in the School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman.
Mr. Ken Mordeno, President of Kythe-Ateneo in the Ateneo de Manila University; and Ms. Reena Sophia Reyes, President of The Hope Project in the University of the Philippines Manila, both shared their experiences in and discussed lessons on being student volunteers in their own respective institutions.
Mr. Vince Barona, 5th Year Medical Student in the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and Medical Intern in the Philippine General Hospital, discussed about and explained chronic illnesses in the Philippine health care setting.
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UP Flyers hopes that through PRIME, more people, most especially UP Diliman students, would be able to carry with them the fundamental knowledge on chronic illnesses in the country, embody the knowledge into service that is hospital volunteerism, and understand the importance of advocating for children.