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FEATURE STORY

PEOPLE EMPOWERMENT:

CHARM P2’s most significant change

BY: CECIL B. CAPEGSAN, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

 

  people empowerment

“The trainings and learnings I received from the Project are more important than the physical projects like infrastructure. Because if you just give the money to the members of the organization, or if  you give projects to the community, just like in previous projects, without training them how to use the money or how to manage the project, the beneficiaries  do not value or do not see the value of  the project.”

 

people empowerment

The sentiment, expressed by Ms. Jeanette Tula and echoed by other community members of Barangay Pudong in Kapangan, Benguet, during the documentation of Most Significant Change training,  is a very strong testimony to the success of the Project. It also validates IFAD’s highly satisfactory assessment of the component on Social Mobilization and Participatory Planning of the Project during the last Supervision and Implementation Support Mission.

 

The above assessment stems from the highly satisfactory   performance of the Project in reaching its targets pertaining to establishment and strengthening of peoples organizations, membership of women to these organizations and leadership positions they hold. Of the 170 peoples organizations targeted, 1,021 have been organized including livelihood interest groups, irrigators associations, barangay water and sanitation  associations, and reforestation and agro-forestry groups, 617  of which are formalized and registered with registering and accreditation bodies. Of the indicator on women membership, the targeted 40% has been surpassed by 53% performance. Women leaders in these organizations account for 45%, which is more than the target 30%.

 

More important than these figures are the stories of success, such as the one shared by Ms. Tula during the training, which was facilitated by the International Potato Center on October 2015. Her story continues:   

“I also observed that our organization, the Saytan Bakatey Farmers Organization, has strengthened the unity and cooperation of its members. I observed that we can solve whatever misunderstandings in the organization especially about money matters. These problems are discussed during regular and special meetings. Regular meetings  are conducted quarterly, during the first Saturday  of the first month of the quarter. I always remind other  members, to use the LAF they received  properly, use it for  its intended use, so that the organization will not have a  bad reputation. All these we learned from our involvement  with the Project.

 

“Before the CHARM2 project,  I  did not know how to  monitor projects, I  did not  know how to write reports.   I  first got involved with the Project through the BPMET,  where I am the secretary,  in 2009. With the Project, I   had trainings and I learned  how to write monitoring reports, especially of projects  being implemented by the  CHARMP2 in our barangay.  I was really empowered  with the trainings given by  CHARMP2 that I attended. “I also attended processing  trainings given by the CHARM  where I  learned how to  prepare cassava products.  With these trainings,  I now prepare snacks for my children to bring to school, instead of buying cookies. The products I make are also healthier.

 

“With the trainings on bookkeeping and financial management I attended,  I am able to apply what  I learned in my household budgeting, and not only in the organization where I belong. Before I had these trainings, I don’t know how to budget very well.

 

“These projects are our legacy to our children. So we try to manage, improve and sustain  the projects we received from  the CHARMP2, our livelihood project and even the other projects,  the best we can so that when we turn them over to our children they will be receiving projects that are well managed. Also, if we can manage our livelihood projects very well, we get additional income which we use for our children.”

 

In recognizing that projects are a inheritance for their children,  the CHARMP2 can be assured of the sustainability of all its investments, as manifested in the attainment of the expected outputs of the component. That subprojects in agro-forestry, forestry, agriculture, income generation and infrastructure implemented in the 170 barangays of the CHARMP2 are sustainably managed by community organization. And further, that community organizations have improved their capacity to work collectively in serving their  members.

 

“With the trainings, I see that we learn to appreciate the project more, to value the projects and how to manage the projects given to us. Nakita mi nga han nga sinsinang jay project,” Ms. Tula shares.

 

That statement aptly sums the Project’s goal as expressed in the theme Sustaining development:Handing over CHARMP2 legacy.//

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