Tag Archive | "Kalahi-CIDSS"

To the Top: A Journey Towards Volunteerism and Leadership


ACTIVE VOLUNTEERISM- Giovannie Fabro, 32 represents their community’s Operation and Maintenance Group on the Organizational Development and Management Training of Kalahi  CIDSS.

Traversing the coconut plantation in the morning and organizing youth groups in the afternoon has been the routine of Giovannie, a dark, well-built man in his early thirties with a face chiseled by hard work and a heart molded by volunteerism.

Giovannie Fabro, more well-known in his community as Giovan is the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairperson of Barangay Toctoc in Banton Romblon. From a by-stander to a volunteer, Giovan said that he has found more meaning in life when he was immersed in volunteerism and in Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi CIDSS).

New Chapter

Like many of the youths in Banton, Giovan worked in Manila. Numerous factories hired him until he has worked himself to exhaustion. Realizing that his income was not enough to support his family in the province, Giovan decided to go back home to take care of his parents.

He worked on their copras business to earn a living. Even with lesser income, he admitted that going back home was one of the best decisions he has ever done.

His caring and gregarious personality earned him a lot of buddies in Brgy. Toctoc. They usually hang-out and play basketball on the community court where the Kalahi CIDSS Barangay Assemblies (BA) were frequently conducted. This hobby of his had introduced him to the program and to volunteerism.

The raising hands of the people in the half court intrigued Giovan as they rest after a basketball game and he listened to what they discussed. He learned that the people were voting for a sub-project that they wanted to have in their community. Amazed on how the people are given the freedom to have a project of their choice, Giovan decided to join the next meetings.

In the beginning, he admitted that attending the assemblies of Kalahi CIDSS was like learning a foreign language. “Napakadaming acronyms yung nababanggit nila at hindi ko talaga maintindihan kaya tinatanong ko yung katabi ko.” (I do not understand the numerous acronyms that they mention thus I ask the person next to me about the meaning of those acronyms.)

He chuckled as he added, “umabot na sa pagkakataon sa assembly na nainis na yung katabi ko sa katatanong ko kaya linayasan nya na ko.” (One time, during the assembly, my seatmate got tired of my asking thus he walked away.)

The Heart of a Volunteer

On the second cycle of Kalahi CIDSS, he actively participated and was elected as a member of the Project Implementation Team (PIT).

A sudden change in Giovan’s routine had happened when he became a volunteer. His usual lazy afternoons were changed to attending meetings of the BSPMC and studying the community procurement manual.

Eventually, he discovered his passion to volunteerism when he attended the community volunteers’ training. This has also been his inspiration to organize a youth group called Uswag Banton. The group aims to re-plant trees in the area.  In addition, he encouraged the members of the group to take part in Kalahi CIDSS and they help the community empowerment facilitator to gather people during barangay assemblies.

The community members witnessed his industry as a community volunteer. Thus, they decided to elect him as the BSPMC chairperson of Barangay Toctoc on the third cycle of the program. Mrs. Yolly Felita, one of the elders in Brgy Toctoc said that she is convinced that Giovan will be a good BSPMC chairperson.

Despite this, Giovan admitted that he had second thoughts on accepting the new post.

Nevertheless, his dream of giving his community a safe and sustainable drinking water has surfaced than his fear of greater responsibility. “Sabi ko sa sarili ko, ngayon pa ba ako titigil kung kelan malapit na naming makamit ang pangangailangan ng aming komunidad?” (I said to myself, would I stop now, now that the need of our community is almost within our reach?)

Community Empowerment Facilitator of Brgy. Toctoc Shirley Vallez recounted a story on how Giovan has shown his dedication to the project. According to her, “Si Giovan ang nanguna noong kailangang i-konekta pababa sa bundok yung tubig kahit medyo masama yung pakiramdam nya. Na-amaze ako sa batang yan kasi kita mo sakanya yung passion na tumulong kahit may sinat sya.” (Giovan lead the community to connect the water from its source in the mountain down to their community and he was not feeling well when he did it. I was amazed on that kid because you can see his passion to help even he is sick.)

Beyond service

Giovan saw how the community driven development process has transformed his flat and passive community into an active one. From his account, he was amazed on how his community was able to work together in spite of political ramifications because of their common goal of having access to clean and potable water.

Consequently, Giovannie discovered his leadership talents in becoming a Kalahi CIDSS volunteer. From the timid man, he was now able to speak in front of his community and other crowds. He recounted the moment where he shared his reflection during the BSPMC training in Makati and he said he never felt so proud before.

“Kung may sasabihin ako at alam kong tama at makakabuti, sasabihin ko yun” (If I have something to say that I know is right and will contribute to the greater good, then I will say it) said Giovannie. He added “Sana ganun din ang gawin ng mga ka-barangay ko“(I wish that the people in my community would also do the same.)

Giovannie has been a volunteer of Kalahi for 2 years now and as a volunteer he had a lot of realizations in life, in his community and in the municipality of Banton. “Sana ay tigilan na ng kababayan ko ang panlilibak sa iba dahil lang sa pulitika. Panira sa pag kakaisa ng Bantoanon yang ganang gawain.” (I wish that people would stop destroying others for the sake of their political endeavors. This kind of action destroys our hope of uniting the Bantoanons for the common good).

All of Giovannie’s BSPMC colleagues have previously held posts in public service. With this, he was teased by his ‘kuyas’ that he must try his luck in politics and run as a barangay councilor. He said that he feels awkward whenever such topics are being discussed.

All Giovan know is his true calling is to serve his community beyond Kalahi CIDSS.

Kalahi CIDSS is a poverty alleviating program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development that employs the process of community driven development to empower the community which would empower the people, promote good governance, and alleviate poverty in the community. ###

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Kalahi-CIDSS Photography Contest: Faces of Empowerment


photography contest

 

MECHANICS

Deadline of submission: July 15, 2016

Who may join?

The photography contest is open to individuals residing in the Region of MIMAROPA who are at least 18 years old. The staff of the DSWD KALAHI CIDSS Regional Program Management Office (RPMO) are not eligible to enter.

What to enter?

Through the years, KALAHI-CIDSS is continually striving to empower individuals to affect change in their communities and we want to see this through your eyes. In line with the theme “Faces of Empowerment”, photos should capture how communities/individuals are empowered to work towards development through Kalahi-CIDSS.

This is not limited to photos of volunteers or laborers working on a sub-project. We urge you to look deeper into what empowerment really means to you or what it has become after the implementation of sub-projects.

All photographs should follow the following guidelines:

  • Entries must be in digital format and submitted in .jpeg or .jpg form.
  • Photographs should not be digitally altered or manipulated and accurately portray the scene as it appears. Minor editing such as adjustments in brightness, contrast and color are acceptable.
  • The photographer is responsible for securing permission for the use of the photos from the subjects or in case of a minor, from the subjects’ guardian.
  • The caption must be complete and accurate, sufficient to convey the circumstances in which the photograph was taken. Disguising or misrepresenting the origin of your content is cause for disqualification.
  • By joining the contest, the entrant is considered to have granted the KALAHI-CIDSS RPMO permission or license to use the photos, along with the names of the photographers, for various publications and marketing collaterals and for other purposes.

The following submissions are ineligible:

  • Photographs that have won any other contests or have been published in print or online are not accepted.
  • Photos that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyright.
  • Photos that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, violent or other objectionable or inappropriate content.
  • The KALAHI-CIDSS Regional Program Management Office shall determine entry eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion.

How to enter?

All images must be submitted thru email including all the required information and the entry form. Download the entry form here.

The photographer may send an unlimited number of entries provided that all required information are complete.

Submissions should be sent to: kcivbsmo@gmail.com

Judging

Criteria
1. Relevance to the Theme – 25%
2. Creativity – 25%
3. Technique (Use of elements of photography) – 25%
4. Overall impact – 25%

Prizes:
• First Prize: Cash Prize of Five Thousand Pesos (P 5,000)
• Second Prize: Cash Prize of Three Thousand Pesos (P 3,000)
• Third Prize: Cash Prize of Two Thousand Pesos (P 2,000)

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Kalahi-CIDSS Turnover Ceremony of Rainwater Tanks


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CAGAYANCILLO, Palawan- Turnover ceremony of three rainwater tanks with catchment in Barangay Nusa, a community subproject constructed thru the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (KALAHICIDSS).

KALAHI-CIDSS is a community-driven development project implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

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Unity Towards Security


Almost five months after being devastated by Typhoon Nona, traces of destruction are still apparent in some places in Baco, Oriental Mindoro. As one of the municipalities that were severely damaged by the typhoon, the citizens of Baco determinedly continues to rise against the challenges brought about by these types of disasters.

In Barangay Lantuyang, a predominantly Mangyan Alangan community, Nori Veron Maliglig recalls that most of the community scatters to different places to evacuate the area during calamities.

Located right beside the Karayrayan River, many of the residents of Barangay Lantuyang, especially those in the lower areas are in danger from flooding. And because most of the Mangyan houses are made of light materials, strong winds and rains easily damage and destroy their homes.

In the midst of these threats, the community have decided to construct an evacuation center with the funding of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS). As one of the core poverty alleviation programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, it aims to empower communities to choose and implement projects that address their most pressing needs.

Tagalog turned Mangyan

Nori Veron Maliglig, a sixty-year-old resident of Barangay Lantuyang, is one of the volunteers of KALAHI-CIDSS who persevered for the success of the implementation of the project.

Together with the other volunteers, she diligently worked and showed her care for the residents of the barangay despite being the only Tagalog in a community of Mangyans.

She settled in Baragay Lantuyang forty years ago and has embraced the Mangyans and their culture and now has a family with two children. “Tagalog ako na naging Mangyan (I am a Tagalog who became a Mangyan)”, she laughingly said.

Since this was a first for the community, the Mangyans were hesitant in claiming the job of the Warehouse Keeper, worried that they would have to pay for anything that will go missing from the warehouse.

“Ako naman po ay naaawa na yun na lamang ang wala kaya nilakasan ko ang loob ko na ako ay tumayo bilang bodegera (I felt sorry that it was still vacant so I gathered my courage and became the warehouse keeper)”, said Nanay Veron.

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Almost there. Nanay Veron smiles in front of the nearly completed evacuation center.

Not just another charity

The community of Barangay Lantuyang is no stranger to outsiders offering help, especially charities; NGOs, NGAs and private corporations often visit and promise infrastructure and development. Most of which were never completed.

From all the false promises emanated their mistrust of all programs and agencies that reach out to their community.

Because of this, the whole community was at first hesitant in accepting the KALAHI-CIDSS program. According to Nanay Veron, “Noong umpisa, hindi sila naniniwala. Baka mahirapan lang sila pero wala din (At first they did not believe. Maybe it would just burden them but result to nothing)”.

But she tried to persuade them to give the program a chance. “Tignan muna natin (let’s see first)”, she told them.

Seeing the project slowly being completed, “Sinabi ng mga mangyan na pinalakas ko ang loob nila (The mangyans said that I gave them courage)”, said Nanay Veron.

When the community has finally united with one goal in mind, the challenges however numerous and daunting were faced with determination.

The land where the evacuation center was planned to be built was owned by priests. So in groups, the volunteers and community members visited the Bishop numerous times to ask for his approval.

His fear and his mistrust was the same as the community.

With the help of Father Victor Florida, SVD, commonly known by the Mangyans as “Father Jun Jun”, the volunteers and the community tirelessly visited the Bishop to explain the process of KALAHI-CIDSS though at first he remained doubtful. He needed assurance that the program will not be same as the previous projects given to Barangay Lantuyang.

After months of meetings, he consulted the issue with the priests of Oriental Mindoro and finally gave his permission to use the land.

Soon, given the chance and proper training the volunteers were already doing things on their own.

They initiated the relocation of an electric post situated at the construction site by talking with the local energy provider.

Whenever needed, the Procurement Team head, Sawi Villar, can even go alone to Calapan City to talk to suppliers and for canvasing.

As a fairly distant Barangay, transportation can be a challenge for the volunteers. For this, they contribute some of their extra earnings from harvests.

They also had a contribution for the pig used in the pansula, a ritual before the start of the construction to ward off evil spirits.

However, their determination was further tested. During Typhoon Nona, a part of the roof of their warehouse was blown away, leaving all their materials under the rain and the rising water of the river.

Some of their cement got wet rendering them unusable, but the volunteers never lost hope.

Laborers and volunteers were already working on the building while relief goods were being distributed to the residents of the Barangay. Almost all of the community members were also very willing to work have a bayanihan for the completion of their evacuation center.

“Ibinuhos ko na ang aking kalooban jan, ako ay hindi umaabsent at palaging nagbabantay (I poured my soul there, I was never absent and I always look after the materials)”, says Nanay Veron.

Beyond beliefs, beyond religion

The residents of Barangay Lantuyang are now eager to implement projects for the development of their barangay. They plan to propose for a protection dike or a day care center in the following cycles of the KALAHI CIDSS.

During the blessing of their evacuation center on April 28, 2016, Father Jun Jun told the residents to care for the building saying, “panatilihhin nating buo, panatilihin nating maayos, panatilihin nating malinis dahil sa panahon na kailangang kailangan natin na syay nandyan (Let us keep it whole, let us keep it in good condition, let us keep it clean because when the time comes that we will need it, it will be there)”.

In his message, Father Jun Jun also emphasized the importance of the community’s solidarity. “Sa tuwing magpapaalala ako sa mga taga Lantuyang, sinasabi ko na ang pagkakaiba iba ng ating mga pananampalataya ay sana hindi maging hadlang, sana ito ang maging daan para sama sama kayong gumawa (Whenever I remind the residents of Lantuyang, I tell them that, may the differences in religion not be a hindrance, it should be a way for you to work together)”

The community of Barangay Lantuyang, diverse in beliefs and religion, with their initial success in the construction of the evacuation center, was reminded that only with unity will they achieve change and development.

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Father Jun Jun leads the blessing of the evacuation center

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The evacuation center of Barangay Lantuyang

 

 

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MCT Staff Re-Oriented on the Process of Community Driven Development


TAGAYTAY CITY, Cavite- The Municipal Coordinating Team (MCT), the local counterpart of the field staff of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s program- Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi – CIDSS) were re-oriented on the first two stages of the community driven development process of the program.

The two day seminar was attended by 200 participants (47 from Romblon Cluster; 59 from Mindoro, Marinduque, Conception and Banton (MiMaCon) Cluster; and 94 from Palawan Cluster) across MiMaRoPa. Two classes divided into sessions were simultaneously held in Bali Village Hotel (MiMaCon) cluster) and Tagaytay Haven Hotel (Romblon Cluster) in Tagaytay City in March 3 and 4, 2016 while the seminar in Palawan cluster was held at Sunlight Guest Hotel on March 7 to 8, 2016.

The Municipal Coordinating Teams were composed of Municipal Area Coordinator (MAC), Municipal Engineer/ Municipal Technical Facilitator (ME/MTF), Municipal Community Empowerment Facilitator (MCEF), and Municipal Accountant (MA).

The program was started by the opening message from the Deputy Regional Program Manager of Kalahi CIDSS National Community Driven Development Program (NCDDP) Irenea Liza Roque. Miss Roque reminded the MCTs that they should work hand-in hand with the Area Coordinating Teams in their respective areas. In addition, she acknowledged the accomplishments of the teams and told them about their roles in empowering the people in the communities of MiMaRoPa.

“Let the people participate, let the people be part in the decision making in the government” Miss Roque reminded the participants.

The first day has focused on the introduction of Kalahi CIDSS process to the MCT. The Community Development Officers and the Regional Community Development Specialists served as the resource persons in the introduction of the community driven development (CDD) approach and the community empowerment activity cycle (CEAC) process to the MCTs.

The Community Infrastructure Officers, the Regional Community Infrastructure Specialists, and the Monitoring and Evaluation Officers has also discussed to the MCTs the technical aspects of the program such as the utilization of the Technical Assistance Fund (TAF), the conduct of the site validation for the sub-project, and the overview of Monitoring and Evaluation of Kalahi CIDSS- specifically geotagging of sub-projects, Project Information Management System, and the Grievance Redress System (GRS).

On the second day, the discussion about the CEAC process continued. In the afternoon, the MCTs from the Romblon Cluster were given a chance to raise their issues and concerns to the Regional Program Manager of Kalahi – CIDSS and the Assistant Regional Director for Operations of DSWD MiMaRoPa Floreceli G. Gunio regarding the implementation of Kalahi – CIDSS in their area. Some of the major issues that arise in the meeting were the accomplishments of the backlogs of the municipalities before their transition into the next cycle.

 

Being the counterpart of the LGU to Kalahi CIDSS, seminars for the MCTs can serve as a strategic instrument in the institutionalization of the CDD process in the governance strategy of the MCTs respective LGUs.

This seminar will be followed by the next re-orientation of the MCTs on the third and fourth stages of CEAC after the second quarter of this year.  (Sharmaine Catapang) ###

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Development Partners Hold a Joint Implementation Support Mission in Region IV-Mimaropa


Manila, Philippines – KALAHI-CIDSS IV-MiMaRoPa successfully staged the fourth Joint Implementation Support Mission in Busuanga and Coron, Palawan last October 6 – 9, 2015. This is part of the regular activity conducted by the development partners jointly with the key officials of KALAHI-CIDSS and national government agencies (NGAs) in order to determine if covenants and performance targets are being met. This collaborative effort is a milestone in the pursuit of mainstreaming community-driven development in the region.

The mission team was comprised of Leonardo Paat of World Bank; Joel Mangahas, Yukiko Ito and Jane Austria-Young of Asian Development Bank (ADB); Edwin Concepcion and Evelyn Diezmo of Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR); Raul Alamis of Department of Health (DOH); Edelito Sumangil of National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP); Rodrigo Emag, Sr. of National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC); and Benilda Redaja, Jay Aribbay, Rannon Padriano, Joyce Palacol, Bessie Magtangob, Sylvia Nachura and Regina Jezika Escudero from the National Program Management Office (NPMO). Participants were split into two groups to simultaneously interview stakeholders in four barangays of the municipality of Busuanga and Coron.

The mission kicked off with a dialogue with the Municipal Inter-Agency Committee (MIAC) members of municipality of Busuanga, led by Vice-Mayor Elizabeth Cervantes. This was immediately followed with an on-site visit to Brgy. New Busuanga and Brgy. Quezon for an open forum with the barangay officials and community volunteers. On the next day, the team visited Brgy. Cabugao and Brgy. Lajala in Coron. A focus group discussion with the MIAC members, led by Municipal Assessor Reynario Labrador, was also conducted.

National Program Manager Benilda Redaja commended the strong involvement and participation in the communities. She added, “They demonstrated strong ownership over their sub-project and effectively articulated not just how it responds to their need but how it links up to other priorities and funding opportunities.”

KALAHI-CIDSS is a DSWD program that seeks to alleviate poverty using the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach as its over-all community development approach and strategy. The CDD approach ensures that development priorities are addressed in a participatory, collective, inclusive, and in demand-driven way. This is done through localized decision-making during social preparation activities, and in the identification, development, prioritization, establishment, and operationalization of community projects. ###

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Gateway to a brighter future


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Blessing of the building after the ribbon cutting ceremony

Blessing of the building after the ribbon cutting ceremony

Roxas, Oriental Mindoro, known as a temporary stop for travelers headed for the white sand beaches of Boracay Island, have earned the title “Gateway to paradise” for its Port of Roxas which provides a fairly less expensive way  to reach Caticlan.

In the coming years however, Roxas will no longer be recognized just as a transitory passage to beautiful places, but a path towards greater opportunities and possibilities for growth and learning.

The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) granted more than P5 Million to the community of Brgy. Dangay. Together with the local government of Roxas and Brgy. Dangay, they constructed a two-storey technical vocational school building for the Dangay Community College. The project, which started in 2012, was recently inaugurated and turned-over to the local government.

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Hon. Jackson Cinco Dy, Mayor of Roxas Oriental Mindoro and DRPM Irene Roque applauding the presentation of the barangay during the inauguration and turn-over event

Brgy. Dangay is one of the 20 barangays in the municipality of Roxas, with almost eight hundred households. According to a situational analysis, interrelated problems in the locality were identified as the leading causes of poverty in the area. One of these is increasing number of out of school youth.

There are approximately 207 out of school youth in Brgy. Dangay alone. Because of the lack of permanent sources of income and the seasonal livelihoods such as farming and fishing, parents are not able to sustain their children’s education. Other students choose to seek employment in other places to be able to lighten their parents’ burden of earning enough money for the family.

Some students who are fortunate enough to attend college have to travel to neighboring towns, which only adds to the family’s expenses. The few private colleges in Roxas, on the other hand, require expensive tuition fees. On both cases, many students are still drop out and are unable to graduate because of financial troubles.

Recognizing their need, the community proposed the construction of an additional two-storey school building where students will be trained on technical vocational courses such as welding, electronics, and bookkeeping. According to Roxas Vice Mayor, Hon. Violeta L. Dimapilis, “Ito ay pundasyon na magagamit ng mga kabataan na nagnanais na mapagtapos sa pagaaral (This will be the foundation for the youth who are aspiring to finish their studies)”.

Because the youth of Roxas and nearby municipalities will finally have access to affordable and quality education, the sub-project will consequently provide economic opportunities to graduates of the courses. “Five years from now, we may encounter professionals and ask them where they graduated and they would tell us, from Dangay Community College, by Kalahi-CIDSS” said Irene Roque, Deputy Regional Program Manager (DPRM) of Kalahi-CIDSS MiMaRoPa.

The “Inauguration and Turn-over Ceremony of Kalahi CIDSS Subproject” was held last September 28 at the Dangay Community College. The volunteers, Area Coordinating Team and the local government all expressed their joy in the realization of the sub-project. Vice Mayor Dimapilis also conveyed her utmost appreciation to the Kalahi-CIDSS program and to everyone who exerted effort for the project and especially for the people who have been involved since the very beginning until its completion.

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The Area Coordinating Team together with the Barangay officials and Kalahi-CIDSS staff

DPRM Roque also thanked the team saying, “kayo ang tunay na naglilingkod sa ating bansa (You are the true servants of our country)”. She also added that the Kalahi-CIDSS program in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro, would not be possible without the cooperation of the municipal and barangay LGUs and other partners.

The lack of a public college is one of the most pressing problems of the Brgy. Dangay and all the other barangays in Roxas. The local government will also be providing scholarships for students who aspire to finish their studies and are in need of financial assistance.

The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) is a DSWD program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community-driven development. Community-Driven Development (CDD) puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves. ###

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To the Top: A Journey Towards Volunteerism and Leadership


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ACTIVE VOLUNTEERISM- Giovannie Fabro, 32 represents their community’s Operation and Maintenance Group on the Organizational Development and Management Training of Kalahi CIDSS.

Traversing the coconut plantation in the morning and organizing youth groups in the afternoon has been the routine of Giovannie, a dark, well-built man in his early thirties with a face chiseled by hard work and a heart molded by volunteerism.

Giovannie Fabro, more well-known in his community as Giovan is the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairperson of Barangay Toctoc in Banton Romblon. From a by-stander to a volunteer, Giovan said that he has found more meaning in life when he was immersed in volunteerism and in Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi CIDSS).

New Chapter

Like many of the youths in Banton, Giovan worked in Manila. Numerous factories hired him until he has worked himself to exhaustion. Realizing that his income was not enough to support his family in the province, Giovan decided to go back home to take care of his parents.

He worked on their copras business to earn a living. Even with lesser income, he admitted that going back home was one of the best decisions he has ever done.

His caring and gregarious personality earned him a lot of buddies in Brgy. Toctoc. They usually hang-out and play basketball on the community court where the Kalahi CIDSS Barangay Assemblies (BA) were frequently conducted. This hobby of his had introduced him to the program and to volunteerism.

The raising hands of the people in the half court intrigued Giovan as they rest after a basketball game and he listened to what they discussed. He learned that the people were voting for a sub-project that they wanted to have in their community. Amazed on how the people are given the freedom to have a project of their choice, Giovan decided to join the next meetings.

In the beginning, he admitted that attending the assemblies of Kalahi CIDSS was like learning a foreign language. “Napakadaming acronyms yung nababanggit nila at hindi ko talaga maintindihan kaya tinatanong ko yung katabi ko.” (I do not understand the numerous acronyms that they mention thus I ask the person next to me about the meaning of those acronyms.)

He chuckled as he added, “umabot na sa pagkakataon sa assembly na nainis na yung katabi ko sa katatanong ko kaya linayasan nya na ko.” (One time, during the assembly, my seatmate got tired of my asking thus he walked away.)

The Heart of a Volunteer

On the second cycle of Kalahi CIDSS, he actively participated and was elected as a member of the Project Implementation Team (PIT).

A sudden change in Giovan’s routine had happened when he became a volunteer. His usual lazy afternoons were changed to attending meetings of the BSPMC and studying the community procurement manual.

Eventually, he discovered his passion to volunteerism when he attended the community volunteers’ training. This has also been his inspiration to organize a youth group called Uswag Banton. The group aims to re-plant trees in the area.  In addition, he encouraged the members of the group to take part in Kalahi CIDSS and they help the community empowerment facilitator to gather people during barangay assemblies.

The community members witnessed his industry as a community volunteer. Thus, they decided to elect him as the BSPMC chairperson of Barangay Toctoc on the third cycle of the program. Mrs. Yolly Felita, one of the elders in Brgy Toctoc said that she is convinced that Giovan will be a good BSPMC chairperson.

Despite this, Giovan admitted that he had second thoughts on accepting the new post.

Nevertheless, his dream of giving his community a safe and sustainable drinking water has surfaced than his fear of greater responsibility. “Sabi ko sa sarili ko, ngayon pa ba ako titigil kung kelan malapit na naming makamit ang pangangailangan ng aming komunidad?” (I said to myself, would I stop now, now that the need of our community is almost within our reach?)

Community Empowerment Facilitator of Brgy. Toctoc Shirley Vallez recounted a story on how Giovan has shown his dedication to the project. According to her, “Si Giovan ang nanguna noong kailangang i-konekta pababa sa bundok yung tubig kahit medyo masama yung pakiramdam nya. Na-amaze ako sa batang yan kasi kita mo sakanya yung passion na tumulong kahit may sinat sya.” (Giovan lead the community to connect the water from its source in the mountain down to their community and he was not feeling well when he did it. I was amazed on that kid because you can see his passion to help even he is sick.)

Beyond service

Giovan saw how the community driven development process has transformed his flat and passive community into an active one. From his account, he was amazed on how his community was able to work together in spite of political ramifications because of their common goal of having access to clean and potable water.

Consequently, Giovannie discovered his leadership talents in becoming a Kalahi CIDSS volunteer. From the timid man, he was now able to s
peak in front of his community andother crowds. He recounted the moment where he shared his reflection during the BSPMC training in Makati and he said he never felt so proud before.

“Kung may sasabihin ako at alam kong tama at makakabuti, sasabihin ko yun” (If I have something to say that I know is rightand will contribute to the greater good, then I will say it) said Giovannie. He added “Sana ganun din ang gawin ng mga ka-barangay ko“(I wish that the people in my community would also do the same.)

Giovannie has been a volunteer of Kalahi for 2 years now and as a volunteer he had a lot of realizations in life, in his community and in the municipality of Banton. “Sana ay tigilan na ng kababayan ko ang panlilibak sa iba dahil lang sa pulitika. Panira sa pag kakaisa ng Bantoanon yang ganang gawain.” (I wish that people would stop destroying others for the sake of their political endeavors. This kind of action destroys our hope of uniting the Bantoanons for the common good).

All of Giovannie’s BSPMC colleagues have previously held posts in public service. With this, he was teased by his ‘kuyas’ that he must try his luck in politics and run as a barangay councilor. He said that he feels awkward whenever such topics are being discussed.

All Giovan know is his true calling is to serve his community beyond Kalahi CIDSS.

Kalahi CIDSS is a poverty alleviating program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development that employs the process of community driven development to empower the community which would empower the people, promote good governance, and alleviate poverty in the community. ###

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