Two years with World Vision: My years of personal growth

It seems like it was only yesterday when I started job hunting. A lot of offices invited me to work with them, but I felt like I needed to wait for World Vision’s call.


It seems like it was only yesterday when I started job hunting, submitting my resume to different establishments and offices in Tacloban. A lot of them invited me to work with them, but I had a feeling that I needed to wait for World Vision’s call. 


This was how I started working in the organization that has brought out the best in me. On July 1, 2014, I was warmly welcomed by the beautiful people of World Vision as a part of the response team. All the fears and curiosity were overpowered by excitement.


How time flew by! It has been almost two years since I began working with the team to serve communities and help bring back their lives which Typhoon Haiyan ripped away from them. 


The work was a roller coaster ride. 


I started as a Technical Assistant for the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (DME) department. I had a great team and a very good supervisor. They were all intelligent people and professionals. I was motivated to learn and try a lot of things that were new to me. They were always there to help me. I seldom went to the field but I was productive.


A few months before my work in DME ended, I learned that the Communications team was in need of an officer. How does that sound? I was overjoyed to have the chance to apply what I have learned in college. 


I was able to finally pursue my passion without leaving the workplace I loved. Here, I have fulfilled the kind of humanitarian work I hoped to do- visiting communities, and talking to beneficiaries especially children. 


I was able to share how cruel the typhoon was and how its survivors are still recovering years after. There were also successful and inspiring moments that have touched my heart and made me realise I’m on the right career path. 


This is what I want to do: share stories and be of help to other people. I may have had a background in the field of communications, but there were still a lot for me to learn, and those things have brought me to where I am now.


I won’t forget a young girl whom I have encountered in disaster risk reduction training. I remember how she proudly showed me her quick run bag. 


“Yes, I am disaster ready. My family is ready for any disaster that may come,” she said. Hearing this from a 10-year old child lifted my spirits. The tone of her voice emphasized her bravery against any disaster. 


As a loving sister to my siblings, I have seen myself in her when she shared how she taught her three-year old brother how to prepare for evacuation. It could have been the key why I easily got along with her as she also talked to me as if I am her older sister. 


This experience is one of the most fulfilling parts of being a communicator. I love how my goal is not only to write stories from the communitites but also to connect with children who usually remind me of what I was when I was their age.


It saddens me that the response is about to end. 


Goodbyes may not be new, but it has never been easy. I am still looking forward to learn more in the few months left. I know I have gone far from an undecided job seeker to a passionate humanitarian and communicator. Years of growing with World Vision were more than just a career for me. It has raised me and helped me realized what I wanted to be. It has become my home.—Jennina June Leira Lanza, Communications Officer, World Vision Typhoon Haiyan Response/May 9, 2016





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