Ticket to Life volunteer shares joy of helping young people
Frederick Bonifacio started volunteering for the Ticket to Life (TTL) programme in Manila, the Philippines, in 2009. The objective of the programme is to provide non-formal education to less fortunate children particularly street children through Scouting, helping them to stay away from vice and equipping them with life skills.
As the Troop Leader, Frederick (who is also affectionately known as Derek) conducts Scouting activities and games for 43 Scouts ranging from nine to 21 years old from three sectional programmes (Scout Section, Senior Scout/Venturer and Rover Scout) every Saturday. Through these activities, they learn about group interaction, Scout craft, rope works, first aid and citizenship. There are also structured activities through which the Scouts earn rewards through a merit badge system.
Derek hopes that by continuing their studies and putting into practice all that they have learned from the TTL programme, they will have a better chance at life and serve as an inspiration to younger children in their communities. Here’s what he has to say about volunteering:
What does volunteering mean to you?
Volunteering to me is the rendering of unconditional service to others through all means and at all times.
Why did you volunteer?
I volunteer because it is my commitment as a Scout to do at least one good deed daily. I also believe that everyone can share happiness and be a blessing to others in whatever capacity they can offer.
How did volunteering change your life?
Being with the underprivileged has made me more humble and taught me to appreciate and magnify even the smallest blessing that I receive every day. I’ve come to realise that if we helped one another, indeed, we can create a better world.
What inspired you to help others?
I was moved and inspired by the last message of the founder of the Scout Movement, Robert Baden-Powell who said, "the real way to gain happiness is by sharing happiness with others”. True enough, I feel fulfilled every time I share my Scouting knowledge and skills with my Scouts, who give me in return, the smile on their faces, which is even more rewarding.
What’s the best thing about volunteering?
It’s when our Scouts start to treat us not only as their teacher and mentor but as their parents and family. It feels great to have them share their personal problems or little joys confidently with us.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering?
I will tell these people to go out and do something different and spread happiness. I will encourage them to volunteer in whatever capacity and be a blessing to others, for they will be blessed even more in doing so.