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Building a village with sustainable materials

July 2016 │ Philippines

On June 24, 80 volunteers from Deutsche Bank Manila started the day bright and early at the Green Village Project with Life Project 4 Youth (LP4Y) in the Philippines. Their mission that day was to build something sustainable.

LP4Y is an international foundation committed to building sustainable communities. Its primary focus is helping out-of-school youth who face extreme poverty, many of whom are victims of abuse or other extreme circumstances. LP4Y has relocated families who were previously living in cramped and terrible conditions in Metro Manila to the Green Village in Calauan, Laguna, 75 kilometres south of Manila, to provide them with a better standard of living.

On the third year of its Born to Be partnership of LP4Y, the bank is supporting the Green Village Project, not only providing volunteers to help in the construction, but also sponsoring tools, equipment and other supplies to the community. The goal of the first volunteering activity was to build a training centre for the youth using mainly natural ecological materials such as bamboo, nipa, rattan, and sawali.

It was a two-hour bus ride from the city to the Green Village and upon arrival, the volunteers were divided into teams working on various sections of the training centre. Throughout the day, the enthusiastic and passionate volunteers worked hard, shifting bamboo poles, shoveling sand and soil, mixing cement, hammering, securing knots, sewing nipa leaves and cutting sawali.

Youth and locals in the community also jointed the 80 volunteers. In effect, the volunteers not only built structures, but also built relationships and strengthened teamwork with all the participants. At lunchtime the volunteers and community together enjoyed the Filipino ‘boodle fight’, a term for mess hall eating where food is laid out on banana leaves on and shared. After lunch, work resumed and the volunteers finished tasks, working through an afternoon rain storm.

At the end of the day, the teams had completed an exquisite bridge and had laid the foundations for the showers, toilets, storage facility, and training room. Teamwork was keenly felt and demonstrated throughout the day. The volunteers were heartened to have made a meaningful contribution to the community.

Another group of Deutsche Bank volunteers will be heading back to the Green Village in July to complete work on the training centre.

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Last Update: August 12, 2016
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