“Ang pagkakaintindi ko ng empowerment ay ‘yong nandito kami sa liblib pero naipaparating namin sa gobyerno ang mga hinaing na akala namin ay hindi na maririnig (The way I understand empowerment is that we are here in the outlying areas but we are still able to deliver our needs and sentiments to the government which we thought would never be heard)”, said Roselyn Espanyol, 43, married with two kids, and a Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteer from Brgy. Sapa Grande, Burgos, Pangasinan.
Roselyn never participated in barangay assemblies and meetings before Kalahi-CIDSS came to their town. When she heard about the program, promoting community empowerment, she tried attending one barangay assembly organized by the Kalahi-CIDSS staff.
When Roselyn was elected by her “kabarangays” as a Project Preparation Team (PPT) chairman, she realized the weight of the responsibility of her position. She underwent continuous coaching, training, and workshop on project development in preparation for their proposed sub-project prioritization. “Naiba ang direksyon ng pananaw ko sa programa. Sa mga kaalaman na aking natutunan at mga hamon at karanasan na aking napagdaanan naramdaman ko na ang laki ng nagagawang pagbabago sa sarili ko pero higit sa lahat aking napagtanto na may nagawa akong maganda para sa komunidad ko (My perception of the Program has changed. The knowledge I have learned with the experiences and challenges I have been through I felt the big change in myself, above all, I realized I have done something good for my community)”, Roselyn said.
As a PPT volunteer, Roselyn feels privileged in acquiring knowledge and skills from the Program that she could share with her community. Seeing the needs of the disadvantaged in her barangay and becoming a big part of the change to development that is about to take place, she takes pride in being a Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteer.
Being a Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteer has opened doors for Roselyn to mingle with her kabarangays and be productive in community work which she seldom did before. Bearing in mind that it is her first time to do volunteer work, she finds it rewarding knowing that she has developed her leadership skills through Kalahi-CIDSS.
When asked more about her impression on the program, she said, “Ang Kalahi-CIDSS, sa pamamagitan ng DSWD, ay programa ng gobyerno na nagbibigay ng kaalaman sa ika-uunlad ng komunidad at sandalan ng mga taong halos mawalan na ng pag-asang mapakinggan (Kalahi-CIDSS, through the DSWD, is a government program that provides knowledge on community development and serves as refuge to the needy who have almost lost their hopes to be heard).” (by: Jomara S. Chan, Kalahi-CIDSS Social Marketing Officer)