Volunteer on our Building Project in the Philippines, designed for teenagers like you, and use your hands to make a concrete difference. You’ll work under supervision to build a house, toilets and renovate classrooms. This is a great way to get outdoors and do physical work that will help people in need.
In the Philippines, you’ll see your project through from start to finish. With help from our supervisors, you’ll dive straight into building when you arrive. What you start will be complete by the time you leave.
Many of the houses we build here are for families who lost their homes in a devastating typhoon in 2013. We also focus on building toilets to help improve sanitation, which is a big problem in the Philippines.
Best of all, you’ll have the chance to make new friends from around the world and explore some of the fantastic cuisine and culture that the Philippines has to offer.
When you apply you only pay €295, which comes off the total price.
Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 01 571 5080 to see if we can offer a discount.
Fixed dates during school holidays
This project is only for 15-18 year olds
What's included in the price?
Food (three meals a day)
Travel and medical insurance
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival
Transport to and from your work placement
In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff
Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team
Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources
A supervisor/mentor at your work placement
Training and workshops from our experienced local staff
Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns
Access to our local office with internet connection
Certification of project completion
Access to our alumni services and discounts
Visa support and advice
Fundraising support, including your own personalised fundraising website
Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor
Personalised MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination
A free cultural awareness course
Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch
Organised weekend tourism trips
Dedicated full-time staff members with you 24 hours a day
What's not included?
Visa costs (where applicable)
What will I do on this project?
During this High School Special project in the Philippines, you’ll work under supervision at building sites. You’ll work on one or more of these tasks:
- Rebuilding homes
- Building and renovating classrooms
- Building toilet facilities
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Rebuild damaged homes
When Typhoon Haiyan hit in 2013, it was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. More than a million homes were lost. Many families are still living in damaged houses covered with tarpaulin.
This is where you come in. Working with our local building supervisor, you’ll help build a house. You’ll get involved in everything, from digging foundations to laying bricks for walls. When the house is finished, you’ll give it a fresh coat of paint as a finishing touch.
Build and renovate classrooms
Typhoon Haiyan also destroyed thousands of classrooms. The United Nations estimates that 90% of classrooms within the typhoon’s reach were damaged. Without a safe classroom, children can’t learn. You’ll help rebuild these classrooms and ensure that children can learn in a safe space.
What you do depends on which stage of the building process we’re in when you arrive. You could get involved in bricklaying, mixing cement, digging foundations, roofing, or painting.
Construct toilet facilities
There are a lot of homes on Cebu Island that don’t have modern toilets. Because people are forced to use their surroundings as toilets, diseases are more common and the community’s overall health suffers. By building toilets in homes, you’ll help reduce disease and improve the community’s health.
The process of building a toilet from start to finish involves a few different tasks. You’ll dig and lay foundations, mix cement, paint, and install roofing. There is even some carpentry involved. Qualified local tradesmen will guide you every step of the way.
Experience the local culture
It’s not all hard work and no play. Your schedule also includes a weekend trip with staff and fellow volunteers to Capitancillo Island. You’ll get the chance to snorkel here. During the week, there will also be a number of cultural evenings organised for you in Bogo City.
Where interns work
You’ll work in two different locations, Bogo City and San Remigio. They are only 12 km apart, so it’s not far to travel from one to the other. Bogo City and San Remigio are both situated on the beautiful island of Cebu, the mainland island of Cebu Province.
The island is surrounded by 167 other islands. We want you to experience all that the Philippines has to offer, so we’ll take you on a guided island tour over the weekend. You’ll have the chance to go snorkelling and relax on a gorgeous white sandy beach.
Bogo City is located in the far north of Cebu Island. It’s quite a young city, having only been granted cityhood in 2007. Admire the beautiful fields of sugarcane and coconut trees, shop for produce at the local market and explore the local landmarks.
Your work location in the city will vary depending on whether you’re building homes, schools, or toilets. The toilet building part of the project is situated in the more rural part of the city.
San Remigio is situated just to the west of Bogo City. Like Bogo City, it’s also fairly small. Unlike its neighbour, San Remigio is very old.
It boasts the longest coastline of any municipality in Cebu. There are also frequent ferry trips from Hagnaya Port to the neighbouring Bantayan Island, which is popular with tourists.
As with Bogo City, your work location will vary depending on what building project you are working on. However, you will commute here when needed, as your host families are in Bogo City.
Measuring Our Impact
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.
Meet the team
Not quite what you’re looking for?
Take a look at the following pages where you'll find collections of similar projects: