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Wednesday 28 July 2004
Working abroad: Stevie Cameron
Written by Stevie Cameron, AIESEC member
Stevie and volunteers help out at Brookside
Volunteers help out at the Brookside project

Stevie Cameron is in the Philippines this summer.

He's travelling with the AIESEC student organisation, and he's writing a regular diary on BBC Birmingham.

SEE ALSO

Stevie Cameron
Stevie's in The Philippines.
Introduction
Diary 1
Diary 2
CSR Conference
Diary 3
Diary 4

Andrew Webster
Andrew's in India.
Introduction
Diary 1
Diary 2
Culture Shock!
Diary 3
Diary 4
Diary 5

Jess Rudkin
Jess is working in the Czech Republic.
Diary 1
Diary 2
Diary 3
Diary 4
Diary 5

James Eder
James is sharing his marketing skills with local people in Colombia.
Introduction
Diary 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
Diary 6 - Aims
Diary 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11
Diary 12 - 13 - 14 - 15
Diary 16 - 17 - 18 - 19

Working with AIESEC
Jame Eder introduces the student organisation.

AIESEC in Birmingham
Amaneeta Shokur explains more about AIESEC and how she is involved.

Scheila
Scheila came to Birmingham from Brazil on a student scheme run by AIESEC.

Students index

The Philippines
Profile of the country from BBC News.
WEB LINKS

AIESEC
Official website for the UK.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

FACTS

PHILIPPINES FACTS

Population: 80 million (UN, 2003)
Capital: Manila
Major languages: Tagalog (Filipino), English
Major religion: Christianity
Monetary unit: 1 Philippine peso = 100 centavos
Exports: Electrical machinery, clothes, food & live animals, chemicals, timber

AIESEC FACTS

AIESEC (pronounced "i-sek") stands for the Association for the International Exchange of Students in Economics and Commerce.

AIESEC is the world's largest international student organisation with 30,000 members in over 86 countries.

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View a printable version of this page.
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Children playing
Children playing

I have lots of fun, living the high life in the Philippines. However, through it all, it's been impossible to ignore the poverty and hardship in every city, village and community.

Along with some AIESEC students of the University of the Philippines, I was invited to the Brookside community, which is part of the Gawad Kalinger project.

"From shanties to colourful homes.
From sickness and malnutrition to health.
From streets to caring schoolrooms.
From slums to peaceful communities.
From poverty to self-reliance.
From a people in despair to a people with hope."

Stevie digging
Lending a hand

This project is currently transforming around 300 slums, and shanty towns around the Philippines, and turning them into self-sufficient villages.

People do not get paid, but work in the village for their houses. In return, they build other houses. Mothers cook for the workers, look after children and opt to teach in the provided school. Children are given an education, with books and even uniforms, whilst their parents at their age used to scavenge through rubbish tips.

The project relies on the contributions of investors to help fund for the expensive turnarounds, but the work is all done by the people themselves. The changes are quite unbelievable.

Mother and child
Mother and child

The inhabitants of Brookside, openly show their gratitude to everyone who walks through their streets. Smiles and greetings all round. Even when I went into a classroom at the school, children as young as five, put down their pencils and in unison chanted, "Good afternoon vis-i-tors."

My contribution was small, and quite insignificant. Along with my colleagues, I helped break down some foundations of an old building, in order to make room for a new one.

Nonetheless, it was an experience just to stand and look around. It's shameful to think that as we walk down our streets at home, rarely do we look around and appreciate our circumstances. The people of Brookside spend each minute of the day thanking God for their new lives, which although are very modest, are rich in comparison.

For more information you can visit:
www.gawadkalinga.org

Written by Stevie Cameron

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