A Vincentian Volunteer for the World shares his story

Date Posted: February 1, 2018 at 02:47 PM



For most millennials, being able to travel to many places is a dream; much more so if they can do it for free. But then, for most of them, travelling would be mainly for leisure, relaxation, and adventure. For Rudolf Aldrin Guirit and Cristine Amontos, however – still fresh from their deployment as Vincentian Volunteers for the World in Thailand – travel means volunteer and charity work.

In 2015, Adamson’s Integrated Community Extension Services (ICES) launched the Vincentian Volunteers for the World program that encouraged alumni to serve as volunteers in poor communities particularly in Southeast Asia. Rudolf and Cristine are the latest among the few who signed up and served since the launch of the program. 

In an interview, Rudolf Aldrin Guirit shared his experience which he described as “very rich and wonderful.” As a volunteer in Thailand, he became a Special Education teacher and a trainer for teachers handling special children. He spent a whole year as a volunteer in many ministries, such as teaching and in a community-based industry where he participated in feeding programs. He also served as an altar server, lector, and commentator during Holy Mass on Sundays. 

For him, the trip was all about embodying the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul. He followed and practiced St. Vincent’s love for the poor and contributed to evangelization activities. Although he was a stranger in the community he was assigned to and even more in that country, never did he feel that he was one. He connected with the people in spite of the language barrier.  Although sent as a teacher, he also became a student as he learned valuable life lessons from the poor. He deeply realized that money is not important for the poor. He learned that there was more to their needs than money and physical comfort. He came to know that what they truly need is emotional and spiritual comfort and the security that someone is willing to listen and care for them.

Being a missionary back when he was still a college student, he recalled that he was not really good in dealing with children. But when he was assigned to Thailand to teach special kids, he found his task as not too challenging as he thought it would be. “When I was tasked to be with the children, I really believed that God really moves in mysterious ways,” he said.

Rudolf also shared a special lesson he learned and that is to be contented with what he has and to live a simple life. He said he learned the value of contentment and simplicity by seeing how the community he was with lived. He learned to value companionship over money.

 Currently, he is working at the ICES but he still wants to go back to Thailand as a volunteer because he sees volunteerism as his vocation.

For him, this trip is more than just serving. It is about immersing himself in the community and being a living symbol of St. Vincent de Paul – Apostle of Charity and Father of the Poor.