Archive | June 29th, 2015

Former Drug Dependent Express Change in Community Driven Development

Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte—A former drug user, believe that there is still hope for a change. He had found the right track in his life, when he joined and volunteered in Kalahi-CIDSS, because he was convinced that this program would help him to become an empowered person, according to a 49 year old Noel Leonar.

Lead to change

A married and a father of two children and used to be a docile citizen of their community. He could still recall when he started to take some dope, influenced by his circle of friends. Those years, his life became miserable, to the point that he was left by his family, relatives and even his wife and children. He underwent medication in rehabilitation for quiet several times, until such time that he joined the Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers, where he opened his eyes and heart to a different perspective. He became advocates in community development, campaigns against poverty and starts to love the Kalahi-CIDSS way of volunteerism. “ Mahinduman lang nako, sa dihang naka attend ko sa mga trainings sa Kalahi, mao kani ang nagpamata ug naghatag kanako sa insaktong dalan ug naghatag ug bili sa akong kinabuhi (I could still remember, when I attended the trainings of Kalahi, that really opened my eyes and gave me the right direction and value of life)”, Noel said.

Kalahi CIDSS through the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach answers community issues in particular to address poverty in the community. Using this strategy, it empowers ordinary citizens to actively and directly participate in local governance by identifying their own community needs, planning, implementing and monitoring projects to address poverty issues collectively.

Sharing of endowments

In 2012, Noel Leonar volunteered to join Kalahi-CIDSS, because he felt the sincerity of the program that made him and other volunteers inspired to do community development. He became as one of the active volunteers in the community, his unique talents, like art designing and fashion designing invited him to do more community activities, particularly in environmental movement.

Being now a responsible citizen of his community, he perceived the financial condition of his fellow volunteers, which he believes need to be answered. He made himself as one of the most dynamic volunteers in the project implementation. There were 25 volunteers working hand in hand.

Traits of a model

He started organizing event for a cause, like Ms. Kalikasan, a fund raising campaign, where he showcased his indigenous gown made of recycled materials. He also encourages everyone in the community to do some recycling. “Daghan jud mi natun-an kang Noel, bisan tuod sa una wala siya natabang sa among kumunidad ug labi na gikan siya sa rehabilitasyon. Sa dihang nahimo na siya nga usa ka volunteer sa Kalahi, daghan mi nakita ug na adaptar nga positibo nga butang, sama nalang nga gi encourage mi dinhi sa among komunidad lakip na ang mga kabatan-onan nga maglikay sa mga droga, ug magbuhat nalang sa mga maayo sama nalang sa pag recycle ug pag proteher sa environment.” (We learned a lot from noel, even though before he had no good contribution to our community and had undergone medication in rehabilitation, he gave us encouragement especially to the youth to avoid drugs and instead to do good things like recycling”,Susan says a fellow volunteer.

Worthwhile contribution

Today, Noel was recognized by the Local Government of Kolambugan as environmental advocate and Sining Artist for his contribution to beautification and eco-tourism in the Municipality. He was also one of the delegates and given an opportunity to share Kolambugan environmental initiatives during Kalahi CIDSS Thematic Environmental Management System conference in Palawan. “ nagpasalamat jud ko sa Kalahi cidss nga naghatag kanako ug pag asa ug unsaktong dalan para sa kayo-han sa amng kumunidad, Kung kaya nako ang pag bag-o sa akng kaugalingon, kaya pud nato makab-ot ang kabag-ohan sa tibuok kumunidad (I’m thankful to Kalahi CIDSS that gave me hope and right path to our community, if I can change my life, why we can’t attain change in our society) Noel added.

Written by: Luis T. Arquiza, DSWD X

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