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A community volunteer's small acts lead to big change

“Masarap po ang pakiramdam na kaming mga community volunteers ay may naging kontribusyon sa pag-unlad ng mga kabataan at ng aming mismong komunidad sa tulong ng Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-National Community-Driven Development Program o KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, kahit na wala po kaming sweldo  (It feels goods that community volunteers like me are contributing to the development of our youth  and  community through the KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, even without remuneration).”

This was the statement of Analyn Depoo, 36, a Community Volunteer of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP from Brgy. San Antonio  Biñan, Laguna, as her eyes began to well-up with tears during her testimony on Monday at the flag ceremony of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Central Office in Batasan, Quezon City.

“Ang dating mga batang hindi nakapag-aral ay may kanya-kanyang pinagkakakitaan na ngayon. Unti-unti, natutugunan ng programang ito ng DSWD ang layunin nitong mabawasan ang kahirapan (Youths who have not gone to school already have their own work. Slowly, DSWD is helping in the poverty reduction efforts of our community),” she added.

Analyn was referring to the 46 scholars of the community based skills training project of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) which provides courses on automotives, electronics, welding, and dressmaking.

At present, 44 of the scholars under the first cycle skills training are already employed and currently helping their families. Two of them are now employed abroad.

DSWD is now preparing for its second cycle of implementation in Brgy. San Antonio. It hopes to provide training in electronics, mechatronic, welding and automotives, also in partnership with TESDA.

For both cycles, Analyn served as the Community Sub-Project Management Committee (CSPMC) Chairperson for Livelihood in their KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP implementation, making her the de facto leader of the community volunteers in Brgy. San Antonio.

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP is the expansion into a national scale of operations of the community-driven development (CDD) approach, which was tried and proven effective by Kalahi-CIDSS. It targets the coverage of 847 of the poorest municipalities in the country.

Japan Social Development Fund- Livelihood Opportunities for Vulnerable Urban Community (JSDF- LVUC) provided $3 million grant to KALAHI-CIDSS-NCDDP to help support poor urban communities. Prior to this, the program was exclusively implemented in rural poor communities. The JSDF-LVUC project was piloted in 2011, reaching six communities in Malate and Cavite. Since then, it was rolled out to 69 communities in Cavite, Laguna, Muntinlupa, and Malabon.

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.

 “Kung dati ang pumapasok sa aming isipan kapag naririnig ang KALAHI ay iyong tinapay, ngayon po nabago na ito pati na ang aming pananaw. Ang KALAHI na ito ay higit pa sa tinapay dahil ito ay nagpapakain na sa pamilya ng mga kabataan na nagkaroon na ng trabaho (Before, every time we hear the word KALAHI, we would associate this with the popular local pastry. Now, our perspective has changed.  KALAHI  now feeds the families of the scholars who are now gainfully employed),” she explained.

Motivation

Analyn used to be a simple housewife and mother who just stays at home and wait for the small amount her husband, Arman, would give her. Arman works as a delivery boy in a water station, earning P200 daily.

But this has changed when her family was chosen as beneficiary of another DSWD program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Analyn said that while the government continuously assists her family to meet the education and nutrition needs of her children through the cash grants, she also wants to be an instrument in improving the lives of others by volunteering to government programs like KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP.

She said this is just her small act of giving back and sharing her blessings to the community especially to the out-of-school youths who also need positive change in their lives.

Analyn became a Parent Leader and community volunteer.

As the CSPMC Chairperson, part of her tasks is preparing the allowances of the scholars who undergo skills training.  

“May mga panahon na kami ay nag-o-overtime at gabi na nakakauwi ng bahay dahil sa pag-prepare ng mga allowance ng mga scholars  (There would be times that we render overtime and  would go home late at night because we would prepare the allowance of the scholars),” Analyn narrated.

She said that all their sacrifices pay off when they receive words of gratitude from the scholars.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Javier Jimenez commended Analyn’s pure heart and generosity.

“Pinahanga ako ni  Analyn dahil bihira na ang mga taong tulad niya na may mabuting kalooban at naglalayon ng kabutihan hindi lamang sa kanyang pamilya pati sa kanyang komunidad (I admire Analyn because it’s rare to find people like her who wants  to bring positive change not only to her family but to her community),” Asec. Jimenez said.

Community project

Aside from the skills training, Analyn said that KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP also helped them with their canal de-clogging and  improvement project.

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP also aims to provide poor communities with better access to basic services while empowering them to get involved with the project implementation.

The volunteers felt a sense of fulfillment for being able to complete the project which they painstakingly worked on from conceptualization to completion.

Since its construction, the sub-project, amounting to P677,000 has helped reduce flooding in their community, benefiting 241 households.

This project was also funded by JSDF.

“Muli po, sa ngalan po ng mga Community Volunteers sa aming barangay, gusto ko pong ihatid ang taos puso at walang katapusang pasasalamat. Mananatili po sa aming puso ang idinulot ninyong malaking pagbabago sa aming komunidad.  Dahil po dito nabago ang aming pananaw sa buhay na sa bawat pighati at hirap, mayroong nakatagong pag-asa  (Again, in behalf of the community volunteers of our barangay,  I would like to convey our deepest and endless gratitude because of the big transformation of our community.  It gave us a new perspective in life that in every  struggle, there is  hope),”  Analyn concluded. ###