Elenita receives her Certificate as resource person during a DSWD Convocation Program.

Davao City “Sa una, nagtuo ko nga ang mga kababainhan kutob lang sa panimalay. Igo mag alaga og anak, mag asikaso sa bana, ug magluto sa kusina. Pero tong niabot ang Kalahi-CIDSS, natagamtaman nako ang importansya sa akong kontribusyon sa akong komunidad (I used to think that women are limited to staying at home, take care of children and husband and prepare food. But when Kalahi- CIDSS came about, I sensed the significance of my contribution to my community),” shared Elenita P. Lampera, during a program at DSWD Office.

Kalahi-CIDSS or Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services is one of the core programs of DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) that aims to empower communities through enhanced participation in local governance and poverty alleviation projects.

In celebration of Women’s Month and recognizing the crucial role of women, DSWD invited women-leader beneficiaries and volunteers whose lives have improved through their active involvement in DSWD programs, to share their stories of positive transformation.


Recently, Lampera, 43, was awarded as Best Volunteer under Gender and Development Category during the 2nd Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Bayani Ka! Awards.

She is also a Parent Leader of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Her family receives P2, 800.00 every two months, which she uses to ensure that her school-aged children remain in school and avail local health services.

Lampera, a mother of three, considers that education is the best gift she can offer to their children. She believes that the classroom is the heart of any educational system.

“Ang edukasyon ang isa ka bahandi nga among maikahatag sa among mga anak. Mao kini ang ilang bulawan nga dili makuha sa ilaha (Education is one legacy that we can give our children. This is their treasure that could not be taken away from them).”

When she volunteered in Kalahi-CIDSS, she learned for the first time how to do objective and systemized project work. A high school graduate in a provincial public school, it was her first time to do canvassing, budgeting, milestone monitoring, representing her community in meetings, negotiating with suppliers, and most of all, overseeing the implementation of the sub-project.

Through the skills she learned, she led, and was able to successfully carry out the construction of a P 679,175.00 one-classroom high school building through Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA.

Lampera, brimming with fire in her heart, was able to invigorate the Bayanihan spirit in their community. At first, the people in their community were doubtful on a woman’s ability to lead projects. She was called a lot of things —incompetent, weak, and wavering.

She admitted, “I was a victim of harsh gossips and cruel name-calling. Oftentimes, I hear them say that women are supposed to be just at home, doing chores and tending to their husband and children. But I refused to believe that.”

Gains by women

Based on DSWD records, 54% of Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteers in Region XI are women. About 7,000 of these women volunteers have attended capacity building sessions, and 1,848 served as laborers in the construction of community sub-projects.

The Bayani Ka! Awards seeks to acknowledge the contribution of program supporters and convene Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer-champions and heroes from different communities. Lampera is such one heroine who surely invested a lot of her time and efforts in making sure that sub-projects are successfully carried out.

What was initially a source of fear for her became something that she came to be proud of, “Dako akong pasalamat sa Kalahi-CIDSS sa oportunidad nga gihatag sa mga kababainhan. Wala nako damha nga ang among kalihukan sa komunidad, isa kini sa makapa-awhag sa katawhan nga mag bayanihan (I am truly grateful to Kalahi-CIDSS for the opportunities for women. I didn’t expect that our community project will motivate the people to imbibe the bayanihan spirit),” Lampera stressed. (DSWD)