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“Balik Gobyerno” Rebel returnee tunes hope in KC-NCDDP development goals

Lanao del Norte– 44-year-old Helen (not her real name), a former rebel, believes that there is still hope in the hands of government, rather than fighting against and believing the ideology of insurgence.

It was in the early 1990’s when she realized the negative outcome of being a member of a revolutionary group. After weeks of reflection, she finally closed her door to revolution and turned her life into something positive. At that time the leftist movement in the municipality weakened.
It was in year 2013 when she volunteered to assist in the implementation of KALAHI CIDSS – National Community-Driven Development Program in their community. KALAHI CIDSS National Community Driven Development Program is a flagship anti-poverty program of the national government that empowers communities to be involved in development through community-driven development approach (CDD).

At the start, her background as a rebel/leftist made a hindering factor to other members considering her record as a revolutionist. “Basin wala napud ni kapa-ingnan atong grupo kay magsupaksupak rani siya batok gobyerno, (maybe this group will just run against the government, according to one of the volunteers).”

But in spite of that, she was persistent to show her commitment, concern and sincerity to lead the volunteers because she feels the economic and living condition of her fellow volunteers that need to be addressed. She set as an example as one of the most dedicated volunteers in the implementation of KC-NCDDP in their municipality.
The KALAHI CIDSS- NCCDP Way

Having worked with other developmental projects with other national government agencies, she shared her positive experience with KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP through the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach. “Daghan kaayo ko natun-an sa KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP labi na sa pag implementar ug pag manage sa proyekto ug apil napud sa paghatag namo ug dako nga katungod mohimo ug among kaugalingon decision. Lahi rajud ang KALAHI (I learned a lot in the implementation of the project especially in managing and monitoring our own projects. It also gives empowerment to the people and promotes sense of ownership in a particular project. KALAHI is totally different).
Firm to optimism

Helen’s optimistic character brings change and hope to her community; she has been seen to have demonstrated peace and development. Even though she was a former rebel, she does not teach her family and children to any rebellious move against the government, but rather show to her family and to the community that she is a law abiding citizen.

“I’m happy to say that in our family I have a wife who happens to be a leader that looks after the welfare not only in my family but to our neighbors in the entire community,” According to her husband.
Establishing Solidarity

With her qualities and capacities as a leader, she has become a modern day hero among her neighbors. She overcomes her fears and faces any challenges. Her ability to sacrifice and persevere to serve the community, and aim to achieve success even though she encounters failures in the implementation of the project, are characteristics that she truly possesses, according to one of her fellow volunteer.

What makes her stand out from most leaders is that she has a strong personality and is self-motivated to voice out to the barangay council in behalf of the community on the problems and needs they encounter. “She is dedicated and honest. Truly she is our model,”a Barangay Kagawad shared. With this, she was declared the 1st winner of KC-NCDDP Bayani Ka Awards in the category of Volunteerism in Northern Mindanao.

Written by Luis T. Arquiza, DSWD

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