Power of ONE: A volunteer brings positive changes to his community

The 9,000+ individuals who volunteer to support CI are some of our most important and inspirational team members. Men, women and teens strive to ensure the kids in our communities have opportunities for a better future. We are so fortunate to have these world-changers on Team CI.

One of our amazing volunteers is Rico Taller Borbe Jr., from the Bicol region of the Philippines. Rico is the only CI programs volunteer in his community on San Miguel Island. A tireless supporter, he has been with us for more than 28 years. But not only does he head up several programs geared toward the CI kids on San Miguel Island, he also shares his knowledge with nonsponsored families in hopes of improving the lives of everyone in his community.

Rico shares some thoughts on his many years of volunteer service:

Q: What are your responsibilities as a CI volunteer?

I am currently involved in programs like health and nutrition. I conduct monthly meetings and feedings for children who are malnourished. First, we do a class where we teach the mothers about proper nutrition, which can help their children go back to being well-nourished. I also conduct general monthly meetings with parents. We discuss any program concerns or new policies. We also hold activities for the youth, such as sports and the Clean and Green Program, in which we clean pathways or the chapel, so we'll have a better community.

The only volunteer on San Miguel Island, Philippines, Rico is responsible for managing several CI programs.

Q: What inspired you to be a volunteer?

I saw the beauty of the program.

When Children International came here, it was an opportune time because people really needed the programs CI offers, especially in health and education.

I decided to become a volunteer, because I wanted to help the families — there are a lot of poor families here that need the programs of Children International. I volunteered so that there'd be someone to monitor the programs of Children International and to make sure these programs could continue in our community.

Q. How has your volunteer service impacted the kids and your community?

All of the programs of Children International are good, especially education. In the past, most parents here didn't send their children to school. When Children International came, though, there was a mind shift among the parents because of the help the program extends, especially with HOPE scholarships and tuition fees. It's a really big help, as compared to before when most people here were unfortunately illiterate. But now, with Children International, many have the chance to be educated.

CI volunteer Rico leads an effort called the Clean and Green program, which engages youth in environmental protection activities.

Q: What are you most proud of as a volunteer?

I think one of my biggest accomplishments is that I've been able to impart and instill the value of service, volunteerism and the Filipino bayanihan (communal unity) spirit. I've been able to teach people here how to stand on their own feet, which matches the creeds of Children International. If you give a man food for a day, he would eat for a day. But if you teach man how to find or make his food, he'll have something to eat every day. It is one of the creeds that I put to heart — that people have to be taught how to live, to stand on their own, to persevere and not just depend on anyone.

At CI, we rely on a team of amazing individuals working together to break the cycle of poverty for our kids across the globe. Each person is making a difference! To celebrate our amazing team members, we'll be featuring a kid, teen, staff member, supporter or volunteer every Monday through our Power of ONE profile series.

Know someone who should be featured in this series? Shoot us an email at editor@children.org and we’ll get in touch!