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REACH 2 conducts Protection Training and Monitors to support Lanao del Sur LGUs in establish inclusive and accessible services

One of the goals of REACH is to establish a safe and inclusive environment for conflict and disaster-affected communities while focusing on those who are most vulnerable to these threats.

To make this a reality, a series of Protection Trainings were conducted last July 2021 where 60 participants from the municipalities of Masiu, Bayang, Butig, and Lumba Bayabao in Lanao del Sur attended.

© Photo by Juhainah Ebus for Action Against Hunger

The trainings were conducted to support and empower the local government units by establishing inclusive and accessible protection services.

© Photo by Juhainah Ebus for Action Against Hunger

Identified Protection Monitors will be mainstreaming protection in the implementation of programs in the communities. They will also help in the identification and monitoring of protection issues, as well as advocating referral pathways on gender-based violence and child protection.

 

© Photo by Juhainah Ebus for Action Against Hunger

Each municipality developed its Protection Activity Plan. The plans included activities such as mobile legal missions, psychosocial support (PSS) sessions, identification, and monitoring of protection cases & referrals.

© Photo by Juhainah Ebus for Action Against Hunger

© Photo by Juhainah Ebus for Action Against Hunger

Together with our partners, we are aiming for a future that provides inclusive and non-discriminatory protection for all.

© Photo by Juhainah Ebus for Action Against Hunger

The ‘Response to the Unmet Humanitarian Needs of the Most Vulnerable Populations in Mindanao Affected by Conflict, Disasters, and the COVID-19 Pandemic’ (REACH) Project is funded by the European Union and is implemented by ACCORD IncorporatedAction Against Hunger PhilippinesCARE PhilippinesCommunity Organizers MultiversityInitiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS) Inc.Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP)United Youth of the Philippines-Women and Oxfam Pilipinas.


Written by Joyce Anne Sandajan

Over 400 households in Datu Piang affected by the recurring Maguindanao displacement receive shelter kits from REACH 2

DATU PIANG, MAGUINDANAO — Action Against Hunger Philippines, through the REACH 2 project, provided 410 shelter kits to conflict and flooding-affected families in Barangay Montay, Datu Piang on the 23rd of September 2021.

© Photo by Al-King Dilangalen for Action Against Hunger

Our team worked closely with the local government of Datu Piang together with the barangay council in managing the distribution. The kits were composed of mosquito nets, mats, and blankets. A hygiene promotion session was also conducted to refresh the participating families’ knowledge on proper hygiene and sanitation practices.

© Photo by Al-King Dilangalen for Action Against Hunger

During the first quarter of 2021, heavy rainfall had left several Maguindanao towns flooded, affecting areas such as Sultan sa Barongis, Datu Salibo, Datu Piang, Mamasapano, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, and Rajah Buayan. This, unfortunately, was not a new occurrence for them since several areas of the province were already prone to flooding. Maguindanao yet again experienced massive flooding which started last September 8, 2021. This caused tremendous impacts on the lives of people repeatedly displaced due to this hazard, making access to adequate protection and dignified living more difficult for those in already vulnerable circumstances. For example, women and girls who are displaced are faced with compromised access to personal security and dignity, making them extremely at-risk.

In photo: Heavy rains in Maguindanao had caused streets to be submerged in several inches of rainwater last September 8, 2021.

In some cases, opportunities to build back their lives and move forward are impeded because of recurring conflicts in the area. This situation causes internally displaced individuals (IDPs) to have limited access to quality water, sanitation & hygiene facilities (WASH) as well poses potential health risks.

In photo: Residents are faced with recurring flooding in Barangays Dalug Balt, Lumigues Sogud, and Cormatan from Masiu.

 

With funding from the European Union, REACH 2 aims to establish a protected environment for conflict and disaster-affected communities in Mindanao as one of the project’s key humanitarian objectives.

 

The ‘Response to the Unmet Humanitarian Needs of the Most Vulnerable Populations in Mindanao Affected by Conflict, Disasters, and the COVID-19 Pandemic’ (REACH) Project is funded by the European Union and is implemented by ACCORD IncorporatedAction Against Hunger PhilippinesCARE PhilippinesCommunity Organizers MultiversityInitiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS) Inc.Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP)United Youth of the Philippines-Women and Oxfam Pilipinas.

 


Written by Ramon III Jungco. Edited by Joyce Sandajan.

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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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605 Displaced Families in Mindanao receive cash assistance to counter food insecurity

Photo by Juhaina Ebus for Action Against Hunger

MINDANAO — A total of 605 displaced families in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao received cash assistance amounting to 5,000 and 3,400 last August 18 to 20, 2021 during our Cash-for-Food payout, an activity under REACH Mindanao’s food security and livelihood (FSL) program.

The cash assistance is intended to support families who are at risk of facing food insecurity due to experienced protracted displacement. Local government units and agencies are already responding to these vulnerable communities, but because there are certain areas that would be deemed more susceptible to conflicts, calamities, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, these additional threats exacerbate the living conditions of internally displaced people. The situation they face can also further limit their financial resources, therefore making it more difficult to provide enough healthy and nutritious food for the entire family.

Cash Assistance Payout: Muslim woman holds cash paper bills while standing in front of REACH 2 project banner.

This household head successfully claims the Php5,000 during the cash payout for Datu Piang participating families. (Photo by Juhaina Ebus for Action Against Hunger)

Aside from the mentioned amount, each participating family also received a small allowance to cover the household representative’s travel expenses going to the payout center. Among the initial recipients of the cash support, 375 families were home-based internally displaced persons residing in Masiu, Lanao del Sur while the remaining 230 families resided in flood-affected areas of Datu Piang, Maguindanao. The goal of the cash assistance is to help affected families to meet the minimum food consumption necessary for each member.

IDPs in Masiu are no longer strangers to ongoing conflict and disasters. The Municipality of Datu Piang on the other hand is reportedly considered as a “catch basin” of several rivers coming from neighboring provinces. This makes the area more prone to flooding which can be easily triggered by heavy rainfall.

The payout activity was conducted in coordination with the municipal local governments of Masiu, and Datu Piang. REACH Mindanao will continue to roll out a series of food security & livelihood support programs for specific vulnerable populations in Mindanao.

(Photo by Al-king Dilangalen for Action Against Hunger)

The ‘Response to the Unmet Humanitarian Needs of the Most Vulnerable Populations in Mindanao Affected by Conflict, Disasters, and the COVID-19 Pandemic’ (REACH) Project is funded by the European Union and is implemented by ACCORD IncorporatedAction Against Hunger PhilippinesCARE PhilippinesCommunity Organizers Multiversity, Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS) Inc., Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP)United Youth of the Philippines-Women and Oxfam Pilipinas.

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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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MOVE UP 4 signs agreement with Cotabato Provincial Government

KIDAPAWAN CITY — The MOVE UP 4 Mindanao reached another milestone as the disaster risk reduction (DRR) project signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Provincial Government of Cotabato last July 15, 2021, at the Provincial Capitol, North Cotabato. Roger Cabiles (Action Against Hunger Head of Project and Consortium Manager of MOVE UP 4) and Efren Piñol (North Cotabato Provincial Administrator) were the main signatories during the ceremony.

In photo (L-R): Delilah Chua (Action Against Hunger Head of Iligan Base). Roger Cabiles, Jr. (MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager & Head of Project for Action Against Hunger), Efren Piñol (Cotabato Provincial Administrator), and Mercedita Foronda (PDRRMO Head)

The agreement outlines the partnership between the two parties which supports the promotion, adaptation, and replication of MOVE UP 4’s tested urban resilience strategies. Mercedita Foronda (Head of Cotabato Provincial DRRMO), Delilah Chua (Action Against Hunger Head of Cotabato Base), Lyndon Arbes (Action Against Hunger Deputy Head of Project), and Louie Bullanday (Action Against Hunger DRR Supervisor) were also present as witnesses of the ceremonial signing event.
The partnership is a leap towards achieving the project’s goal of building the resilience of urban poor communities by strengthening disaster preparedness, response, and management capacity of the national government and local government units.

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.

REACH 2 Project analyzes market capacity and demand trends in Lanao del Sur to bridge gaps on food security

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 REACH Mindanao project went around the local markets in Lanao del Sur to analyze market capacity and demand trends in relation to the availability and accessibility of goods. This assessment will give us a better understanding of the needs and capacities of both consumers and local micro-businesses.

Photo by Jeffrey Simprota for Action Against Hunger

Photo by Jeffrey Simprota for Action Against Hunger

Through the market assessment, we will be able to identify how the COVID-19 pandemic affected market operations, price changes, and understand any changes in 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) Project is funded by the European Union and is implemented by ACCORD IncorporatedAction Against Hunger PhilippinesCARE PhilippinesCommunity Organizers MultiversityInitiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS) Inc.Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP)United Youth of the Philippines-Women and Oxfam Pilipinas.

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Real Life Heroes – Cha Magdadaro

Charity “Cha” Magdadaro, one of our Project Assistants for our Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) Response in Cagayan shared with us her insights as a humanitarian worker for eight years now. Get to know Cha and find out what makes her one of our Real Life Heroes.


What motivates you to become a humanitarian worker?

I started working as a humanitarian volunteer in 2013. After few involvements, I tried jobs in the industrial field, but my heart always searched for a job that works with the community. Working in this field gives me deeper satisfaction than other jobs. I witnessed a huge need of change that most communities in the Philippines need, and the small, step-by-step impact of humanitarian intervention to communities always makes a big difference.

Being able to witness children learning, mothers accepting new knowledge, and empowering the members of community – these things are priceless.

Why are you making this sacrifice?

With the challenges that the pandemic we are all facing and the calamities that heap up the burden of the vulnerable community, it is not easy to just ignore it. Humanitarian work is needed. Someone needs to do it. Someone needs to be there. I am answering the call.

What have been the challenges to your work because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Due to budgetary constraints, we could not help all the people needing assistance. We had to be selective and narrow down our beneficiaries to the most vulnerable sector of the population.

Several of our planned activities have also been postponed due to community quarantine initiatives that the LGUs imposed. Within the community, the challenges of involving senior citizens, pregnant and lactating women and other vulnerable members of the community had been tough since they were the ones not allowed to be in social gathering, not even allowed to go out.

But then, beyond the mentioned challenges, the risk of being with a lot of people amid this pandemic is the most weighing burden I have. The heightened sense of protecting myself for the sake of my family, friends and the team is always the priority. With all the tasks I have to accomplish every day, this is a big challenge.

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

Helping the community is what drives me to keep going. Being an avenue to meet the immediate needs of the community is a fulfilling moment. 3 months after Typhoon Goni, some of our beneficiaries still live in tents in evacuation centers. The most common profile of the people we help are families with pregnant and lactating mothers do not earn a living wage and Senior Citizens with chronic ailments. Our interventions help them sustain hope despite the flooding and the pandemic that had caused them to lose so much.

The impact of the assistance I help deliver to the community outweighs the personal risks that the pandemic brings.

What are you most proud of?

I am proud of the team I am with in this emergency response. Despite the pandemic, we are still able to achieve our purpose in the community. There is always that challenge to strike the balance between taking a risk and protecting ourselves. Nonetheless, my team works hard, sacrificing things in life, just to do their job at its best.


Our Humanitarian Assistance to Typhoon Vamco-affected Communities in Region II, Philippines is funded by the European Union, and implemented by Action Against Hunger Philippines, CARE Philippines, ACCORD Incorporated, and Plan International Philippines