DAVAO CITY (DSWD XI) – “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord, rather than for man.” Dalmin Faith A. Igaňa, Social Welfare Officer 3, lives by this adage.

A mother of one, a survivor and a hardworking social worker, Dalmin has worked with the most disadvantaged in Davao Region for nearly 27 years now, under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

When asked of the three significant events in her life, she replied, “When I met and accepted the Lord as my Lord and Savior, when I see my client/s getting empowered, and when I got promoted.”

“This important lesson I also learned as I worked with children in especially difficult circumstances: Listen to the heart of abused children. Do not force to give therapy or counseling when they are not ready.  Not all abused children need it.”

Above all, seek God’s guidance always and never insist on what you think is right to an angry client, Dalmin urged.

Family first

Family always comes first in her life. “Despite my busy schedule, I see to it that I comply my house chores, spend time listening and counseling when needed, going to church; make jokes, laugh with them, share food, lend extra money, and share other blessings. I share financial support all the time too.”

“My parents and family are very supportive especially in my times of need. They molded me and wanted me to give value to my education. My friends in school, neighbors and at church are part of my support system. We have family gatherings every Christmas, New Year’s Eve, birthdays and on other special occasions.

When I was already employed, my parents and relatives continued to extend their support even when they did not approve of the man I married and they kept their backing when I returned home because my marriage did not work.”

With the heart

“Yes, I’m happy with my life as a social worker because I love my job,” Dalmin declares heartily.

Dalmin radiates coolness and a no-nonsense attitude towards her work. She is cheerful, dependable, broad minded and very unassuming despite her position at work.

She loves her co-workers as well. “I maintain good relationship by respecting them, providing emotional, physical, intellectual and financial support.

“To my supervisors, I provide regular feedback on program updates; submit comments; consult on issues, concerns, challenges; seek advice; ask apology when I commit mistakes; show concern; and of course, provide full support.”

“When they seek help, I readily provide technical assistance to our program partners and I see to it that a good working relationship is maintained.”

Working with clients or program beneficiaries is always a heartwarming opportunity for Dalmin. “I provide assistance with a sincere heart, extend financial assistance taken from my own pocket when necessary, and share food and even cell phone load. I try to help them by providing counseling, referring them to other resources and by just making them happy.”

Dalmin emphasized, “You will succeed if you show respect and sincerity no matter the status of your client. I am effective when I satisfy or meet my clients’ needs on time, while I teach them to stand on their own.”

What keeps Dalmin more effective is that she always acknowledges her mistakes and willingly apologizes. She has remained humble and open to learn new things, and has always demonstrated a supportive push to her colleagues especially those who seek her help.

“I really go the extra mile and I depend too much on God to enlighten me on every step I take and the decisions I make.”

“I studied Social Work [at Ateneo De Davao] to help me overcome my shyness and boost my self-esteem. By taking this course, I was forced to face all kinds of people. In 1989, I entered the Department and I until now am still with DSWD because I love my job and I enjoy doing it.”

Back in college, her teacher in Introduction to Social Work discouraged her from pursuing the course since she was very shy and naïve. “I was instead bolstered to finish the course and passed the board exam. My teacher was shocked when she found me working at DSWD.”

Social work

Dalmin’s work history would reveal that her first job was with ZONTA-Christian Children’s Fund, Inc. as a Day Care Worker, then as Day Care Supervisor and finally, as Community Social Worker.

DSWD is her second employer with her first assignment as Community Social Worker. She became a Center Social Worker at DSWD Home for Girls and Women and DSWD Reception and Study Center for Children before moving up as

Community Social Worker at the Regional Office Community-Based Services Unit with a rank of Social Welfare Officer 3.

Noteworthy of the capacity building seminars that helped her become a better worker and a better person include; Therapeutic Interventions for Children Victims of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, Group and Family Therapy, Handling Women and Child Victim/Survivor of Abuse, Effective Surveillance and Rescue Strategies, Case Management System, Training on Bio-Psychosocial Care & Para-Legal Interventions for Children in Need of Special Protection, Child Sexual Abuse Treatment, Handling Cases of Trafficking in Persons, Grief Counseling, Communication Skills Development, Promoting Leadership & Mitigating the Negative Impacts of HIV & AIDS on Human Development, Camp Coordination and Camp Management, and Enhancing Relationships, Stress Management, and Personality Development.

These are among the many trainings and seminars she attended that made her, broke her, and molded her into the kind of effective and efficient Social Worker that she is today.

“The extensive and pertinent experiences I assimilated over the years are best applied in managing children and women in need of special protection, all those adults in crisis and those experiencing disaster. The knowledge, attitude and skills provided me wisdom on what to do and how to best do it.”

Dalmin has been doing her work happily for God foremost; and for the lost, the least and the broken too. (DSWD)