Friday, March 11, 2016

LoveYourself Creates New Batch of Volunteers, Known as "Kinaadman"

LoveYourself welcomes its first batch of newly-recruited volunteers for 2016, collectively known as Batch Kinaadman.

The batch name comes from the Visayan word for wisdom, “Kinaadman”. It is the hope of LoveYourself that the new batch will impart and utilize their wisdom to help the organization’s missions of HIV awareness and self-worth.

Batch Kinaadman volunteers will receive training to become counselors in LoveYourself’s two HIV testing clinics - the LoveYourself Uni near the junction of Gil Puyat Avenue and Taft Avenue in Pasay, and LoveYourself Anglo along Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong.

Beyond counseling, LoveYourself offers multiple pathways requiring various disciplines for volunteers to contribute to the organization’s cause through their own capabilities. It is the hope of LoveYourself that all volunteers will imbibe the value of self-worth, and through the knowledge and awareness of the HIV epidemic, be agents of change in the community.  

Behind the Logo

The most salient feature of the batch logo is the owl. Its features have been derived from the Philippine Eagle-Owl (Bubo philippensis), a specie of owl usually found in the Visayas, particularly in the islands of Samar, Bohol, and Leyte.

“The owl has long been the symbol of wisdom”, shares LoveYourself Creatives Manager and creator of the logo, Geno Maglinao. At the same time, LoveYourself has decided to feature species endemic to the Philippines to represent the names of batches to be recruited for 2016.

Sifting For the Right Fit

Similar to previous batches recruited by LoveYourself, Batch Kinaadman volunteers underwent a recruitment process aimed to sift through many applicants those who have the right fit with the organization’s missions, structure, and operations.

LoveYourself’s recruitment team incorporated scenarios that tested the applicant’s ability for teamwork and for making decisions. Apart from seeking perceptions on the psychosocial issues surrounding the HIV epidemic, the recruitment team also emphasized on finding out the capacity of applicants for collaborative work, as a trait befitting LoveYourself as a community of volunteers working together. Furthermore, the volunteer’s decision making skills highlights his or her ability to think critically in the face of the interpersonal and multi-faceted issues linked to HIV.

Half of the almost 100 applicants who signed up made it through the interview process, and Batch Kinaadman with 51 volunteers, is one of the larger batches recruited by LoveYourself since it downsized batch sizes particularly with Batch Bigkis and Batch Katha in 2015.

Awareness Keeps on Getting Better

Pete Tan, head of LoveYourself’s recruitment team, has noticed that “most of the applicants interviewed were quite hungry for knowledge, and most of them were aware how serious HIV is not just in the LGBT community but for society in general. Moreover, most of them are keen on how education is vital in addressing the growing epidemic in the country.”

The recruitment team shares that a lot of the recruits have been inspired by the work of other volunteers when they have gone to visit LoveYourself’s two clinics. “The hospitable environment of the clinics and the volunteers’ positive attitude evoke a safe and welcoming environment for others”, shares Pete Tan. The presence of LoveYourself in social media also extended its reach.

With various programs on HIV awareness and education and mass testing activities, LoveYourself has, through the years, expanded its reach, growing to an organization with over 500 volunteers. Last February, LoveYourself opened a brand new clinic called LoveYourself Uni. Also, the organization is venturing into PLHIV treatment through the NEXT+ CHAP+ER Program, and it is currently studying the rollout of a PrEP distribution program as another HIV prevention measure.

Call for Volunteers

If you are interested in helping LoveYourself as a formal volunteer and join its future batches, kindly fill up the form at go.loveyourself.ph/volunteer.