Cagayan de Oro– 50 year old Susan Sabaldan, deems that being a peace mediator in the community call for a commitment and devoted time in public service.

Susan volunteered since April 2013 and assists in the implementation of KALAHI CIDSS – National Community-Driven Development Program in an urban community of Barangay Puntod, this city, despite the burden of her present works in the barangay as “Lupon Tagapamayapa” member. Being a concerned citizen of her community, she observed the economic or financial situation of her neighbors, which she believes need to be addressed. She made herself as one of the most active volunteers in the project implementation.

KC-NCDDP 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.

Determined to extend a hand

Susan has been known by her community as a peace advocate, and a mother of three children. As a peace mediator, she demonstrates her commitment to community development by showing to the community as a law abiding citizen and sets herself as an example to the villagers.
“We are proud to say that in our community we have a leader and a peace maker who is a woman” says a volunteer. “It’s not only men who can lead or manage a certain community; even women today are already empowered, therefore both men and women have equal opportunities.”

Susan personally believes that as a volunteer, I should be fair enough in my decisions and maintain myself as a good model for others. Without bias in my representation to the villagers, I widen more my knowledge and extend as well my patience in bringing change in my community.” Susan says.
Susan and other 112 volunteers have undergone capability-building trainings in the following courses: technical trainings on Pharmacy Servicing, Motorcycle Repair, Housekeeping, Dress Making and Facilitation for Janitorial Services.

According to her, the KC-NCDDP truthfully helped their community considering the project beneficiaries have gained decent jobs. Judith Gora, Ana Tabor, Kristine Gadrinab, Sheila Mabatam, Virgie Arat and Maricel Pino are now employed in different corporations. “Some are also waiting to work abroad to get housekeeping jobs,” she says.

“Kung tayo ay magtulong-tulong at makilahok sa kuminidad, kaya natin ang pagbabago at mabigyan natin ng maayos na buhay ang bawat Pilipino,” Susan says.

Written by Mario Luis Arquiza, DSWD