On the way for Isla! Alessia and Faith, two volunteers for Isla along the Camino de Santiago

by Sep 14 2023

Two new dreamers and volunteers from Isla ng Bata, Alessia and Faith, are about to start with a new venture and a fundraising campaign to support our Association. They will realize their dream, that of walking the Camino de Santiago, and on this occasion they will raise funds for our Family Home through GoFundMe: let’s make them feel our support!
They met in Casa Famiglia, Alessia and Faith, both volunteers and both animated by a great desire to do something concrete for girls and less fortunate children. They shared a part of their experience in the Philippines and, once they returned to Italy, they decided to continue supporting Isla’s project, in a different way, but always with a very specific objective: to be close to the girls we welcome and care and that they took care of first hand.
“I discovered Isla ng Bata in 2021 thanks to a stroke of luck”, says Faith. “After finishing my studies, I decided to direct my professional path to the nonprofit sector with a particular interest in the Philippines, of which my father is native. I didn’t know where to start, but a friend of mine told me that her cousin had a contact in Dumaguete, my family’s hometown. The contact in question was Flora, co-founder of Isla ng Bata. Shortly afterwards I was invited to spend a period of volunteering in the Family Home and I showed up without any particular expectations or plans”. “I thought I’d stay there for a couple of weeks, just to get an idea; I didn’t imagine that those two weeks would turn into an eight-month trip. My time in the family home was incredible. This experience allowed me to see with my own eyes Isla’s genuine love, care and dedication towards the girls they host. I also got to know the stories of these amazing girls and their aspirations for the future, which made me really appreciate their resilience. Shortly after leaving Dumaguete, I had the opportunity to participate in a fundraising action in Europe and my answer was immediately yes! The organization and all the girls hold a special place in my heart and I hope to contribute to the work that has been done so far. The fundraising will be a great challenge both mentally and physically. I’m really excited to be part of it all and can’t wait to find out where I fit in will bring”.
Together with her, Alessia, civil service volunteer for Isla from September 2022 until last June, who tells us what pushed her to undertake this new adventure. “A couple of years ago I started my volunteering experience with Isla ng Bata. The cause pursued by Isla entered my heart right from the start but I think I fully understood her objectives and difficulties only after spending ten months in the family home in Calabnugan. During my stay I was able to see with my own eyes the problems and difficulties that the staff and girls of the Family Home encounter on a daily basis, despite the fact that we always try to give them serenity and all possible comforts. I also had the opportunity to get to know each of the girls and understand their dreams, desires, expectations for the future, but also their fears and doubts. I will always remember Apple’s tenacity, Alexa’s desire to see the world, Hanna Joy’s decision, Pamela’s strength, and so on”. “Once I returned to Italy I was driven by the desire to do something more. So, I decided to combine a project that had been floating around in my head for years with a fundraising for Isla. Together with Faith, a girl who having had the volunteer experience in the Family Home with me, and some other friends, I will walk part of the Camino de Santiago, from León to Santiago de Compostela and then finishing in Finisterre, 380 km in total. A fundraising will be linked to the walk which will go to support the girls’ school expenses and, perhaps, offer some scholarships for girls who decide to continue their university studies. We have chosen to focus on education because it is a tool that allows girls to realize their dreams and help them build a future. In fact, many of them dream of continuing their studies after high school, but fear that the funds will not allow this for all of them.”

Alessia and Faith’s fundraising has already started, their journey will begin on September 22nd and we at Isla will also follow it from afar. You can support our girls and the great generosity of our volunteers by donating to the following GoFundMe link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/walking-380km-to-empower-girls-through-education