Rotarians help Filipinos once again

Bill Brizee
Bill Brizee
Don Anderson
Don Anderson

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - For six years, the Rotary Club of Honolulu has helped the less fortunate in the Philippines reach new heights.

This year, 30 of them headed back there again to build a life skills center for young men who have been in trouble with the law.

For these three men, volunteering comes easy.

With their help, 50 Filipino students will now get the chance to turn their lives around.

"Helping them create a life-skill like that was just something that don't get much chance to get here," volunteer Bill Brizee said.

But like their previous humanitarian trips to the Philippines, these rotarians get something in return.

"We have this authentic experience with real people and we get in touch with our own lives, we begin to get a perspective on our place on this planet," volunteer Don Anderson said. "Manual labor, it was hard work, but a little hard work is good for all of us, every once in awhile."

But it wasn't all work. The rotarians were treated to chants and dances during the evenings.

"Just not to judge people by the experiences they've had and to meet them face to face as human beings and give them their due," Anderson said.

This concrete and steel building will be the home of training programs in welding and metal work for the students.

"What they learned from us was volunteering, the spirit of volunteerism that folks can come from a far away place and help," volunteer Paddy Griggs said.

Helping each other to learn life's lessons, as they lay one brick at a time.

In total, the Rotary Club of Honolulu spent more than $75,000 dollars for the trip.