Rise Above Foundation (RAF) hosts volunteers from Scandinavia including student teachers, medical students, social work and behavior science students, and dental and dental hygiene students (as well as dentists). These volunteers do their internship in the Philippines, where they carry out their practicum at different schools and institutions as arranged by Rise Above Foundation.
Rise Above Foundation is recognized by particular institutions in Scandinavia who apply the number of credits and hours put in by the volunteers toward their diplomas. To initiate these internships, among other things RAF requests the CV for each student and asks them to describe why they want to be in the Philippines. These responses are then organized and compiled and delivered to mayors and administrators of possible participating institutes.
This arrangement of placing the volunteers in needy situations for 3 – 6 months at a time directly benefits street children and other underprivileged youth growing up in the slums. The program has really caught on as many Scandinavian students look forward to an opportunity to help teach these needy children, while also immersing themselves in a foreign culture.
It serves two purposes:
1. It gives the poor people a helping hand, and the children a broader vision as it connects them with people from another continent and culture, giving the children hope of a better life, away from the slums.
2. The young men and women return to Europe as changed persons. Seeing the conditions that the poor live under -- malnourished children, people dying simply because they lack money to buy basic antibiotics, and so forth -- changes their lives and most of them go back with a desire to help in one form or another, either in trying to get sponsors for our work here, or sponsoring the education of a child, or helping the poor in their home countries.
Amongst its related programs, Rise Above Foundation supplies volunteer teachers to an Australian-based missionary organization whose sole aim is to help poor children get a future outside the slums, through helping them learn to read and write and prepare them for a full education.
Depending on their circumstances, the student teachers stay in the Philippines for anywhere from 3 weeks to a 3-6 month internship. For those who remain for the longer periods, we arrange for them to have a house for accommodations, a home away from home, instead of them living in a hotel.