When I was introduced to the idea of being a part of a team for Ideas Positive Run 4, I had a ready answer. I had my classes and a job as well, so I asked myself, “How can I do it?” It started with a single step: saying yes. And that single “yes” changed my life forever.
My journey with Ideas Positive started in 2013, but my life as a volunteer started even before. I was born into a family of rescue volunteers. My father and his brothers are active members of a civic group. So it was natural for my siblings, my cousins, and myself to follow their footsteps. I am always ready to help out for anything.
That is why when I was introduced to the idea of being a part of a team for Ideas Positive Run 4, I had a ready answer. It was a whole new setup for me and I did not know what to expect. I had my classes and a job as well, so I asked myself, “How can I do it?” But just like the rest of my teammates, it started with a single step: saying yes. And that single “yes” changed my life forever.
Yes, it wasn’t easy. Our group, Team Frontline Warriors, was assembled almost only a week before the deadline. We didn’t know where to start. But when we conducted our very first community visit in Barangay Matina Pangi in our hometown, Davao City, we found the reason and inspiration we needed to pull through.
We got through the Live Screenings. The panel of judges gave us a lot of ideas that we incorporated in our proposal. We were blessed to have been selected as one of the top 14 teams for the Ideas Positive Boot Camp that year. I admit; I was intimidated by the big schools that we were up against. University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, University of Sto. Tomas – name it. They had great ideas and data for their respective projects. Coming from the Boot Camp, one thing that struck me the most was the line, “Do this (your project) not for yourself, but for the COMMUNITY.” From then on, that was our battle cry.
Our team, with the help of the community members, implemented the project “Grow for Growth: Grow your food, Growth for your kids.” We aimed to lessen the cases of malnutrition among the children in Brgy. Matina by enabling the parents to grow their own food through urban gardening. Part of our plan was to get the kids involved in sports through karate lessons.
There were growing pains throughout the whole process, but they built us, molded us, and made it all sweeter in the end. Though we did not get a podium finish at the end of the Run, I always had our battle cry in mind: for the community.
All the hardships that we had to endure, other priorities that had to be sacrificed – all of them were worth it, especially when we see what our community has become. The kids of Brgy. Matina are now healthier, and they even compete for big karate competitions! Their achievements are our achievements, too. It’s definitely something to look back on and be proud of.
My Ideas Positive journey hastened my maturity process. Now, I see life in a different light. You can’t live a life without helping the people around you, especially those in great need. It is within us, the youth of today and the leaders of tomorrow, to make it happen. And it starts with a simple “Yes.”
Arvin Demoral is now an Ideas Positive Area Ambassador for Mindanao. He was a member of Team Frontline Warriors, one of the top 14 finalist teams of Ideas Positive Run 4. He is also an active first aid and rescue volunteer in Davao. His interests include reading, public relations, and sports writing.