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Real Life Heroes – Lyndon Arbes

For  Lyndon Arbes, being able to spark change and making a lasting impact in society is both his pride and joy. The drive to help others in need emanates from a propensity to put himself in the others’ shoes. This, he shares, is rooted in his personal experience during his humble beginnings.

Now working as the Deputy Head of Project for our MOVE UP Mindanao project, Lyndon shares with us the lessons he gained from his 22 years of working as a humanitarian worker, or rather, as a real-life hero.


What is your role in Action Against Hunger?

I am currently the Deputy Head of Project for the Moving Urban Poor in Mindanao Towards Resilience (MOVE UP 4) project. My role for the project is to manage, coordinate, implement, monitor, and evaluate all the activities in Action Against Hunger in strengthening the resilience of the urban poor against human, natural and climate-induced hazards. We do this by building and supporting the capacities of communities on resilient livelihoods. The project also advocates for the inclusion of alternative temporary shelters, technical assistance on camp management, social protection, and/or risk-transfer modalities in local government disaster risk reduction management plans.

Photo courtesy of Lyndon Arbes

How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker?

I have been in the development work and humanitarian for 22 years now.

What motivated you to become a humanitarian worker?

Coming from a poor family, I fully understand how difficult life can be. I empathize with communities, especially with our farmers and other vulnerable sectors, who have experienced devastating impacts of disasters—losing livelihoods over and over, or grieving over lost lives.

Being a development and humanitarian worker is a noble work and profession that provides me the opportunity to give back to the people in need. Through my work, I am able to help others improve their socio-economic condition, protect their lives and livelihoods, and enabling them to withstand and bounce back after disasters. Seeing their faces brimming with so much joy is what inspires me most.

 

Why are you making this sacrifice?

We are all human and everyone deserves help. We need to care for others the same way we care for ourselves, and our families.

 

Photo courtesy of Lyndon Arbes

 

What have been the challenges to your work?

Working in the development sector is sometimes a very complex process considering that communities we work with have different social, cultural, and political contexts. So, sometimes you need to be creative and innovative in the ways you advocate them. Adding to this challenge is the current COVID-19 pandemic which brings us certain limitations. But we make our maximizing our efforts now more than ever in enabling communities to be more vigilant in case of potential crises, while at the same time learning to exercise caution against COVID-19.

What motivates you to keep doing your work even with these challenges?

Working with farmers and the most vulnerable sector of our community has always been my passion. Seeing them transform their lives with smiles on their faces gives me a sense of fulfillment, and also my source of motivation.

What are you most proud of?

In my 22 years of working with humanitarian organizations, what I am most proud of is being part of a community that is helping improve the lives of many with the utmost sincerity and passion. I am proud to have this as my legacy.

Just recently, we were able to mobilize around twenty-seven community savings groups in Kidapawan City with total savings, social funds, and livelihood amounting to 1.5 million pesos. These savings came directly from all the members, which they managed to accumulate in less than a year. It makes me proud how a change in their mindset and attitude has allowed them to achieve this milestone—not only are they financially literate and independent but they are also more prepared and resilient.

Photo by Jan Azucena for Action Against Hunger

What climate change impact have you seen with your own eyes?

Climate change is real, and it’s been happening not only now but even way back. If you saw on TV that the glaciers are continuously melting which is resulting in rising sea levels, this means changes in our climate patterns are now being characterized by extreme weather events. The fact that El Niño and La Niña are becoming more intense is one of the many shreds of evidence that climate change is real.

How are you taking action against climate change?

Climate Change is a global issue but solutions can be started right at the community level. There are plenty of ways we can do to fight climate change. One is to simply reduce our own carbon footprints. We can also plant more trees and advocate for change—change other people’s attitudes and be more caring towards our environment.

Photo courtesy of Lyndon Arbes


Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is an urban disaster risk reduction (DRR) project which aims to build resilience among urban poor communities in Mindanao. With funding from the European Union, MOVE UP 4—also known as MOVE UP Mindanao—is implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and their local partner ACCORD Incorporated. Read more

MOVE UP 4 featured in DILG-LGA Newsletter

Spotted: Our Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4)—or also known as MOVE UP Mindanao Project— was featured in the 2nd Quarterly LGA Merit Newsletter!

The Local Government Academy’s (LGA) second quarterly newsletter for the year 2021 can now be accessed at the LGA website lga.gov.ph. The LGA releases monthly and quarterly newsletters showcasing its projects, programs, and activities, as well as best practices all geared towards local governance excellence.

The publications also highlight the stakeholders and partner agencies including the Local Governance Resource Centers (LGRCs), Local Government Operations Officers (LGOOs) and many more.


GRAB YOUR COPY HERE

 

 

Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is an urban disaster risk reduction (DRR) project which aims to build resilience among urban poor communities in Mindanao. With funding from the European Union, MOVE UP 4—also known as MOVE UP Mindanao—is implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and their local partner ACCORD Incorporated.

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Real Life Heroes – Roger Cabiles

Being a humanitarian worker is more than a career choice. Most of the time, it involves having a shared sentiment that anyone and everyone can help others in many different ways.

Roger Cabiles, our Head of Project and Consortium Manager for the MOVE UP Mindanao project, shares a similar perspective as he talked about the value of paying it forward.

We sat down with Roger and asked him a few questions about his role as a project implementor, team leader, and inspirational real-life hero.


What is your role in Action Against Hunger?

I ensure that the [MOVE UP 4] activities are implemented and managed well in our project areas to ensure a positive impact on the communities and the people we serve. I also lead the coordination between our consortium partners and stakeholders to ensure that we work on the same goals, we complement each other’s strengths and we provide necessary support and assistance when needed.

Signing of agreement: Four people seated side by side. The two in the middle are signing papers.

Roger Cabiles (second from the left) represents the MOVE UP 4 consortium as he signs the agreement with the local government of Cotabato Province on July 15, 2021. (Photo by MOVE UP 4 for Action Against Hunger)

How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker?

Almost a decade—from an indigenous peoples’ community in Pampanga to Typhoon Haiyan Response in Tacloban City with DSWD, then to post-conflict rehabilitation in Bangsamoro with FAO UN and now urban resilience with MOVE UP in Mindanao.

What motivated you to become a humanitarian worker?

A belief that everyone deserves a dignified life and a just society.

Why are you making this sacrifice?

I don’t really see it as a sacrifice but a shared responsibility. When someone sees poverty, inequality, and oppression, there should be no second thoughts about taking action. As for me, I know that my strengths are in managing and implementing development projects so I feel that this is my contribution to making the world a better place. Everyone has a stake in this so everyone should do their part, no matter what profession, no matter what work they do.

In photo: Roger Cabiles, Jr. shares updates on the MOVE UP 4 projects within intervention areas.

What have been the challenges to your work?

There are times you get overwhelmed with all that’s happening in the world and you feel you can’t do anything about it.

What motivates you to keep doing your work even with these challenges?

It is ironic that this feeling of being overwhelmed is also a motivation and a push for me. There’s a lot of work to be done and one should breathe, relax and get back to work.

When someone sees poverty, inequality, and oppression, there should be no second thoughts about taking action. Everyone has a stake in this so everyone should do their part, no matter what profession, no matter what work they do.” – Roger Cabiles, MOVE UP 4

Photo courtesy of Roger Cabiles

What are you most proud of?

I am proud when I become dispensable to a project. It means I have done my job— mentored my team well and made it more about the communities and less of us and the project. That is the measure of success for a development project—community ownership and sustaining the gains even after the project timeframe. Empowerment and sustainability are things that I am very proud of.

What climate change impact have you witnessed?

Oceans are getting warmer and warmer and typhoons are getting stronger and stronger. I have worked in post-Haiyan rehabilitation and I’ve seen its devastating impact. This will be the new normal.

How are you taking action against climate change?

Being conscious of the impact of your lifestyle and your actions on the environment as well as on vulnerable communities. But more than personal responsibility, demanding more from the private sector and the government on concrete and tangible ways to address climate change and its impact on communities especially the vulnerable ones.

 

Photo courtesy of Roger Cabiles


Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is an urban disaster risk reduction (DRR) project which aims to build resilience among urban poor communities in Mindanao. With funding from the European Union, MOVE UP 4—also known as MOVE UP Mindanao—is implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and their local partner ACCORD Incorporated.

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MOVE UP 4 Mindanao strengthens support to partner communities this National Disaster Resilience Month

MOVE UP 4 reinforced the partnership with the Provincial Government of Cotabato by providing technical assistance in updating their DRRM plan during the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Planning Workshop held last July 14-15, 2021 at Parkland Suites, Kidapawan City, North Cotabato. The workshop was conducted in line with the 2021 National Disaster Resilience Month’s theme, “Tamang Pamamahala’t Kahandaan, Kaalaman at Pagtutulungan sa Sakuna at Pandemya’y Kalasag ng Bayan.” 
Roger Cabiles, MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager and Head of Project for Action Against Hunger Philippines, held a discussion on ‘Shock-Responsive Social Protection and Resilient Livelihoods in DRRM Planning.’ Aside from tackling the importance of supporting disaster-resilient livelihoods, the discussion also emphasized the need to have effective, responsive, and inclusive social protection for communities.
Roger Cabiles, Jr. presenting in front of the seated participant with the project area presentation flashed on an overhead television on his right.

In photo: Roger Cabiles, Jr. shares updates on the MOVE UP 4 projects within intervention areas.

The MOVE UP consortium manager also shared updates on various MOVE UP livelihood activities in Kidapawan City. Among the examples were the establishment of Community Savings Groups in addition to providing livelihood assistance to at-risk households, promoting crop insurance, and other risk transfer mechanisms.
Three representative individuals from Action Against Hunger talk with Cotabato PDRRM Officer, Abril Espadera

In photo (L-R): Lyndon Arbes (Deputy Head of Project for Action Against Hunger), Delilah Chua (Action Against Hunger Head of Iligan Base). Roger Cabiles, Jr. (MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager & Head of Project for Action Against Hunger), and Abril Espadera (Cotabato Provincial DRRM Officer)

MOVE UP 4 Mindanao continuously supports local government units in building the resilience of our partner communities. It aims to strengthen the disaster preparedness, response, and management capacity of both the national government and local government units (LGU).

Written by: Joyce Sandajan
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union, or the consortium members. Neither the European Union nor any of the consortium members can be held responsible for them.

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#REACHMindanao Project Analyzed Market Capacity and Demand Trends in Lanao del Sur

Providing healthy food that’s enough for the entire family is a usual concern for those struggling from unemployment. Additional threats like emergency situations and an ongoing health crisis make it even more difficult to combat food insecurity.
This is a common ordeal for many of the communities we are working with and one of the ways we address this is through our cash-for-food programs. For this intervention, our #REACHMindanao project went around the local markets in Lanao del Sur to analyze market capacity and demand trends in relation to availability and accessibility of goods. This assessment will give us a better understanding on the needs and capacities of both consumers and local micro businesses.
Through the market assessment, we will be able to identify how the #COVID19 pandemic affected market operations, price changes, and understand any changes on the traffic and volume of consumers in comparison to pre-pandemic times.
From the information gathered, the goal is to strengthen our strategies and processes as we prepare to roll out new set of food security & livelihood (FSL) activities in the next months.
The ‘Response to the Unmet Humanitarian Needs of the Most Vulnerable Populations in Mindanao Affected by Conflict, Disasters, and the COVID-19 Pandemic’ (REACH 2) Project is funded by EU Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid – ECHO and is implemented by ACCORD Incorporated, Action Against Hunger Philippines, CARE Philippines, Community Organizers Multiversity – CO Multiversity, IDEALS, Inc., Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), United Youth of the Philippines-Women and Oxfam Pilipinas.
𝗖𝗵𝗲𝗰𝗸 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘀:
Photos by Jeffrey Simprota for Action Against Hunger

We Are Currently Looking for an Operations Officer in Manila

We are currently looking for an Operations Officer in Manila. For further details, go to https://bit.ly/3dLTl9q
Interested applicants meeting the requirements should:
1. Click the link
2. Read the details thoroughly
3. Go to the bottom right corner of the page
4. Click the “Apply for this Position” button
Given the urgency of this position, the vacancy may close on or before 𝟮𝟬 𝗝𝘂𝗹𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭.

In celebration of #NutritionMonth, Help Us Provide Life-Saving Aid To Families At-Risk

Do you believe that hunger is predictable?
If you answered yes, you’re correct! Hunger is indeed predictable, preventable, and treatable.
Unfortunately, until now 33% of Filipino children under the age of five are suffering from chronic malnutrition.
So in celebration of #NutritionMonth, make a donation (any amount helps!) and help us provide life-saving aid to families at-risk.

We Know The Fight Against Hunger Can Sometimes Be Overwhelming

Hey there! We know the fight against hunger can sometimes be overwhelming. But every step you take to end hunger makes a difference!
Whether big or small, your support is seen through the eyes of families we’ve reached and how they’ll no longer have to worry about their next meal, or walk miles and miles just to get clean water.
That’s why we’ll never give up – and you shouldn’t either.
𝗧𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗮 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗽, 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝗱𝗼𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆!

We Are Looking for a Base HR Officer in Cotabato

Hello! We are looking for a Base HR Officer in Cotabato. For further details and to apply, go to this link: https://bit.ly/3pWuVPs
Interested applicants meeting the requirements should:
1. Click the link
2. Read the details thoroughly
3. Go to the bottom right corner of the page
4. Click the “Apply for this Position” button
Given the urgency of this position, the 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝟮𝟵 𝗝𝘂𝗻𝗲 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭.
𝘞𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘯, 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘦, 𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳, 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘹𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘪𝘮𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘏𝘙 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯.
𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘵𝘺𝘱𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘶𝘯𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘹𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵, 𝘴𝘦𝘹𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘦, 𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘨𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵. 𝘞𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘧𝘧, 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘳𝘴, 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴, 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘊𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘴. 𝘖𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘶𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘳𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥.