Beneficiary of Kalahi-CIDSS High School Classroom Elki Mae L. Ubanan relates how the community sub-project enabled her and her fellow students attend school in their own village without having to hike far.

KAPALONG, DAVAO DEL NORTE – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) paved its way to another milestone in empowering poor communities as it launched Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA (Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan) peace-promoting community projects here.

The launch was led by Mayor Edgardo Timbol, Regional Director of DSWD Priscilla N. Razon, together with the Local Government Officials, Davao del Norte provincial representatives, volunteers and project beneficiaries.

Conducted with the launch was the Municipal Orientation with 10 participants from the town’s 14 barangays who were oriented on the process, implementing policies, management of sub-projects, community structures to be organized, among others.

As Kalahi-CIDSS [now known as National Community-Driven Development Program] sets off a new cycle in Kapalong, aside from its primary goal in alleviating poverty and improving local governance, it also focuses on peace and development in the community specifically in conflict affected barangays (CABs).

In her message, Director Razon stressed, “KALAHI-CIDSS PAMANA aims for peace and development. We want to live in a community where there is peace and tranquillity, to have a peaceful mind, especially children, when they go to sleep at night.”

She also challenged barangay beneficiaries to really make this project sustainable and really meet its goal in 2014.

Elki Mae L.  Ubanan, 15, who benefitted from the program earlier, admitted that the Kalahi-CIDSS project empowered those students who were deprived of education.

Now, they have a school in Barangay Florida through the initiative of Kalahi-CIDSS with the support of the community. The sub-project called “1 unit, 3 High School Classroom Building” was conceived to provide decent classroom to the students.

She is very delighted that other youths like her who live in far-flung and conflict-affected barangays would also enjoy the same privilege she had.

Adding that, “Lingaw gyud mag eskwela kay daghan matun-an, ug nalipay pud gyud ko kay tanan bata nga pareho nako mahatagan na og hapsay nga panghuna- huna, ug wala nay kahadlok tungod sa paghatag og tagad sa kalinaw ani nga bag-ong proyekto (I really enjoy attending school because I learn a lot. I am glad that children like me will have peace of mind because of this new project [PAMANA] that promotes peace).

Following the MOA signing, the barangay captains, councilors, community volunteers and purok leaders also took part in “Panaad sa Pagsuporta”, a symbolic act wherein participants pledged their commitment for the project.

Shortly after the pledge, all participants from the LGU and DSWD signed the Manifesto of Support to signify their dedication to work together for peace and development.

Among the projects DSWD has brought in the town are Pantawid Pamilya, Social Pension for Senior Citizens, Sustainable Livelihood and Supplementary Feeding.

The successful projects of DSWD in the past are indicative of Kapalong’s capability to implement social protection programs for its less fortunate sector. (DSWD)