WHO IS JADE MORGAN?
Jade Morgan is a Peace Corps Volunteer currently serving in the Philippines where she works with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4 P’s) in providing life skills training, academic and professional development, tutoring, and mentorship to youth in her community.
During her time studying social work at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, Jade worked with recently resettled refugees as an ESL instructor, job skills facilitator, leader in refugee women’s health groups, and mentor. After college, Jade worked as a health education specialist with the Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program at Denver Health Emergency Department in Colorado providing interventions for indigent patients struggling with alcohol and drug addiction.
Jade aspired to return to her instinctive passion of working with international populations by applying for Peace Corps Philippines. She landed a position in Children Youth and Families (CYF) sector and will be serving for two years, until September 2017. Her goals are to expand her personal and professional capacities as a development worker and contribute to the long friendship between Peace Corps and the country of Philippines.
You can connect with Jade here:
IN TOR 098 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- What it’s like to be a young Peace Corps Philippines volunteer.
- How communications technologies have helped make expatriation easier, and intervention goals more achievable.
- The hidden values of youth empowerment.
- The importance of balance and personal time while on the ground for a year.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- Peace Corps Philippines
- Environment and Climate Change
- Children, Youth and Family (CYF)
- Money Transfers
- Holistic Development
- Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment -SBIRT- practice
- Language Barriers
- Mimaropa Region, Philippines
- Denver, CO
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
A relatively new U.S. Peace Corps volunteer
Each country is different.
3 areas in Philippines: Education, Coastal Resource Management (Environment); Children Youth and Family (CYF). Jade works for the latter.
Volunteers work in homes and centers, with individuals and larger campaigns. CYF involves anti trafficking.
Large effort with the Government’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), most volunteers work there. It involves the most impoverished people.
World Bank reports source allocation success: 82% of benefits reach the bottom 40%, superior to most programs.
Money transfers. “They are investments.” People get money pending health and educational objectives.
Peace Corps assists the transfers, but they also provide support to scholars and their families through a host of collective and individual spaces. “A holistic approach to development.“
Day to day
“Always different.” Lots of life skills with students at a local college, discussing personal and community issues. Leadership training.
Focus on fostering relationships.
9 months in Philippines. Previously worked with SBIRT in Denver. “It did not have to do with development but a lot of it is applicable to what I’m doing.“
Also worked with refugees. “It sparked my passion.” Wanted to work internationally since an early age, public service as an adult.
Did school work at all for development
Got into social work.”It’s a very broad discipline. I figured it would be beneficial in the long run.” She was more focused on volunteering than the field itself.
No language skills before joining. The Peace Corps (PC) gave her very good training on local languages.
Philippines is the second oldest PC mission. Her batch is diverse, from all backgrounds, levels of PC and abroad experiences. College students to retired couples.
History of development geolocation
“It is a surprise to be as connected as I am. I had an idea of Peace Corps being in the middle of nowhere holding two hangers together to get cell reception.“
Jade is very connected. “It’s the world we live in.“
PC overlaps with Jade’s own goals. Connectivity is a benefit.
It is a small drawback being connected to family so often.
There is a tech gap in field work, connectivity or power is not guaranteed.
First time receiving U.S. volunteers.
“I sometimes feel on the outside of things.” Her host family is very warm.
Language barriers. “Sometimes I speak and I know nothing is getting through. I feel more embarrassed than anything” but there has always been a supporting partner to ‘rescue’ her.
Jade and some volunteers organized a community action and needs assessment event, with a focus on youth. She was surprised at how committed young people were. “It gives me goosebumps just to talk about it. It was the moment I knew I was in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing.“
Development community interactions, disconnect
Nothing so far “just yet.“
Other volunteers (CYF, environment) do work close with other NGOs.
Events from other programs have allowed her to interact.
Focus on building youth leadership.
Next is the year of empowerment, motivating them, allowing them to build their community.
After PC: Remains abroad, grad school, possibly back to PC.
Future skills: to expand on monitoring and evaluation, action planning.
Finding such close friends, so easily. “It’s going to be very hard to leave.“
Philippines was her choice, not a usual thing for PC volunteers.
Close to Manila, very supportive team.
The volunteer’s motto is ‘to be always on,’ but it’s not realistic nor ideal.
Jade finds alone time.
Lots of opportunities to travel.
The allowance is generous. Does not exempt her from budgeting.
Do this while still at home or in college.
Work cross culturally as much as possible.
Get to know yourself. Spend time away from comfort.
“PC has been an unbelievable experience.“
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