The Journey Towards DisAbility Inclusion: Charo Dancil

The project of FTI entitled “Capacity Building for Persons with disabilities leading Transformation Process towards Resilience and Inclusion” has come to an end. It was a two and half year project in Leyte as a response to the catastrophic event brought by Typhoon Haiyan.

The project focuses on persons with disabilities on becoming a “leader” in their community, become community development actors and contribute in building a resilient community. It is about promoting social and economic participation to achieve an inclusive society.

The trainings provided to community development actors were Awareness Raising on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other Domestic Laws and Policies, Local Budget Processes and Public Speaking, Inclusive Facilitation Workshop, in preparation of their activities on respective communities; and then the Disability Inclusive Development training .

After the trainings, the application of earnings followed. The community development actors lobbied for their rights in their community and implemented activities such as Barangay Awareness Raising wherein they were the speakers, profiling of person with the disability and renovation of comfort rooms to make it accessible to people with disability - a model comfort room for all.

There were evidence of positive results gained such as the access on the budget allocation for persons with disabilities in the local government units which they used for livelihood and conduct of profiling of people with disability. Development actors overcome their shyness when speaking in public especially when lobbying to their Local Government.

In Phase 2, three municipalities were added namely Pastrana, Dagami, and Dulag. Development Actors developed in phase 1 became the speakers of trainings provided to these new communities where they shared their learnings.

Furthermore, partnership and collaboration with various NGO and Government agencies was done such as the following:

DPWH supported the Access Audit of ten (10) Municipalities: San Miguel, Sta. Fe, Pastrana, Dagami, Palo, Tolosa, Tanauan, Dulag, Mac Arthur, and Hindang. The success of this activity was headed by the mentors Dr. Benjamin “Jun” Bernandino and Abner Manlapaz together with the Community Development Actors and with the assistance of FTI staff base in Leyte. This activity is the orientation of the B.P 344 Accessibility Law on which the law said “install architectural facilities or structural features that reasonably enhance the mobility of persons with disabilities.” Part of the activity was the conduct of actual mapping for the existing ramp and restroom if the LGU followed the correct measurement. Then after the mapping, planning for the right and correct measurement applied.

ACCORD, funded the Data Gathering for person with disability of the Community Development Actors, Dagami group. This NGO often invited FTI as observer to their community drills to help them on improving the contingency plan of the Barangays they are supporting to become a more inclusive one.

FTI also joined in the Community drill of CDP in Balangiga Samar. It was a wonderful experience for both the FTI staff and Actors, Ms. Anjela Mamolo and Mark Brazil of San Miguel Leyte to witnessed such event.

People’s Initiative for Learning and Community Development (PILCD) – Last August 9 and 10, 2017 was the scheduled visitation of FTI Staff to PILCD at Calbayog, Samar. The objective of the visitation was to observe their conduct of trainings like their methodologies used and strategies and the inclusiveness of their project when it comes to PWDs.

Dulag LGU – funded the profiling activity of persons with disability conducted by the community development Actors of Dulag.

LGU of Pastrana – approved the budget proposal for data gathering of Persons with Disability in Pastrana, Leyte.

Lastly, FTI and the Community Development Actors partnered with other NGOs like Save the Children, EVNET-Eastern Visayas Network for NGO and POs (EVNet) and Plan International as they ensure the participation of people with disability.

The journey towards disability inclusion is not yet over although the project ended. The good thing is that we have taken the first steps and with the positive feedback and impact the project has created, we are very sure that the fruits would be replicated and sustained.