New Corella, Davao del Norte (DSWD) – Around 300 community volunteers from 20 barangays here participated in the recent Kalahi-CIDSS Municipal Community Volunteers’ Congress held at the municipal gymnasium.

The Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinating Team with the support of the local government unit, adopted the recently conducted Community Volunteers’ Congress held at the regional level, which gathered some 800 Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers from 27 implementing municipalities.

“The one-day activity is a combination of team building activities and workshops that aim to build trust and strengthen the camaraderie of our volunteers. Also, this activity will help them determine ways on how to sustain and carry on the lessons and processes of community driven development (CDD) in their community,” explained Marlyn C. Getizo, Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinator of New Corella.

She said, with the support of the local government unit, they adopted the activity at the municipal level to recognize the effort of the volunteers who selflessly put their time and effort to implement the program.

“Our volunteers were able to share their gains and experiences.  Through this, our volunteers also improved their planning efficiency and safeguards so that the effort, time, and resources they put in the program implementation are aptly used.”

The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the core programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), is a community-driven development program of the Philippine Government aiming to empower people through sustainable development, enhanced participation in local governance, and management of poverty alleviation projects.

Since the scale up of the program in New Corella in 2015, 60 sub-projects have already been completed. 40% of these are basic infrastructures, 45% on basic social services, 10% are facilities for community production and economic support, and 5% on environmental protection and conservation.

“I am grateful to be part of this activity. This is the first community volunteers’ congress at the municipal level. I am thankful that we are given the opportunity to express our ideas on the interventions that can help in sustaining the processes of the program,”   said Jeannibeth Lemonsero, Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer from Barangay Sta. Fe.

“The activity is a fruit of our sacrifices because the program values our worth as volunteers, making us partners of government and as catalysts of change,” Lemonsero stressed.

“Another good thing about Kalahi-CIDSS is that ordinary people are being capacitated and trained in the simplest way one can understand, thereby enhancing their knowledge as they go further and further in the learning process,” said Virgilo B. Getizo, Chair, Committee on Social Services.

He added, at the end, one can also see the real transformation of these ordinary citizens when they become resource persons in future motivational talks and gatherings.

One of the volunteers’ outputs during the congress is a resolution which urges the use of community driven development process in identifying sub-projects that address the needs of the community. To date, there are 1,192 community volunteers in New Corella. (DSWD)