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DSWD trains volunteers of poor KALAHI-CIDSS towns to sustain empowerment, development

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To sustain the momentum of empowerment and development that the KALAHI-CIDSS (KC) project has brought about in the poorest municipalities in the region, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is currently conducting training for the project’s volunteers in select areas region-wide until the end of May.

Volunteers from KALAHI-CIDSS Makamasang Tugon municipalities in the region (Katipunan, Siayan, Kalawit, Zamboanga del Norte; San Pablo, Lakewood, Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur; and Alicia, Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay) will be participating in the 3-day trainings conducted in clusters – Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and in Zamboanga Sibugay.

In the course of KALAHI-CIDSS implementation in these municipalities as early as 2003, the volunteers, through various crash courses on problems analysis, engineering, procurement and finance and others related to community project development, have realized 757 community infrastructure projects virtually on their own. These community “sub-projects” are funded by the World Bank, national government and local government units.

At the heart of the KC mechanism is people participation through the community-driven development (CDD) process. In other words, the project sees that development is innate in the communities. What is only needed to kick-start the process is the active participation and engagement of the people, the residents, in local development endeavors. This volunteer training is an important supplement to sustaining the insights learned during the implementation of their own sub-projects – to leave a mark in the people’s minds that they are instruments of change and progress.

The volunteers will be trained on the concepts of leadership, facilitation, community project management, monitoring and evaluation, and gender and development. Yet, the training would also document best practices as a result of KC implementation in the communities. These will be shared as references for future development engagements by other stakeholders.

“The training is seen to reinforce the volunteers’ already-acquired skills so that they will be able to hammer out these values even when the Project has been phased out in their areas. In other words, we want to sustain the feeling of empowerment among them,” said DSWD Assistant Regional Director Zenaida L. Arevalo, also the KALAHI-CIDSS Regional Project Manager.

KALAHI-CIDSS stands for Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (Linking Arms Against Poverty) – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services. It is currently being implemented by the DSWD in coordination with the local government units in 12 poor municipalities in Region IX. Meanwhile, Makamasang Tugon is an initiative for municipalities that have already implemented KC before. It seeks to harmonize the CDD process into their own local planning system to address socio-economic needs in the communities.




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