Volunteer Spotlight: Harel Umas-as

Each month, we share the stories of World BEYOND War volunteers around the world. Want to volunteer with World BEYOND War? Email greta@worldbeyondwar.org.

Location:

Philippines

How did you get involved with anti-war activism and World BEYOND War (WBW)?

I learned about World BEYOND War and its anti-war activism through a friend. She first mentioned that it’s an organization that promotes the abolition of guns and when I checked the website, I was amazed on how wide its scope really is. Addressing one of the world’s biggest problems while also making a stand against it is very commendable. Considering the world’s current situation, I really felt that I needed to try to be involved with World BEYOND War’s activism.

What kinds of activities do you help with as part of your internship?

My co-interns and I were tasked to work on further developing the No Bases Campaign, which encourages pulling back U.S. military bases from foreign territories because of various reasons. For us, we focused on researching on how these bases have a negative effect on the environment through air and water contamination, etc. I was also tasked to research and contact activists who are against U.S. foreign military bases, especially those activists who really need a platform and spotlight to further their cause. Additionally, if there are any articles or videos that are to be posted to the World BEYOND War website, we will be the ones to handle it as well as choosing tags that are appropriate to categorize the content.

What’s your top recommendation for someone who wants to get involved with anti-war activism and WBW?

I personally think that an intern or someone who wants to be involved with World BEYOND War doesn’t need to be “flashy” or “impressive” but to have the same passion as the people who are working for the organization. When I saw the effort being displayed in the website’s multiple articles, videos, and research reports, it’s hard not to be amazed or not feel the same passion with the people who genuinely want to shut down war because of how it has left countless people to suffer.

What keeps you inspired to advocate for change, and how has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your activism?

For me, the Filipino youth or the generation that I am part of has always been a big factor that helped me advocate for change in general. Seeing my friends or others around my age wanting change not only for themselves but also for the country as well as acknowledging that everyone deserves a better life will always encourage me to take a step out of my comfort zone and become more vocal.

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t had a negative impact on my internship with World BEYOND War because it was all online-based. My current lifestyle during this pandemic of being consistently exposed to online classes and activities has helped me to quickly adjust to the online-based internship with World BEYOND War. I believe I learned many things through this online experience.

Posted March 21, 2022.

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