5 months ago

Metamorphosis_Kalahi-CIDSS Compendium 2015

Strangers' Chance for

Strangers' Chance for Change 11 To where their feet may lead them. Area Coordinating team of Langiden, Abra crossing the dried Abra River to reach far flung communities whom they love serving* By Mayrose Urbano-Cariño and Isidro P. Bulayo What makes community organizing especially attractive is the faith it places in the ability of the poor to make decisions for themselves. - Paul Wellstone In a place where there seemed to be a “no man’s place” because of its geographical location is where a group of total strangers were designated for the Kalahi-CIDSS Project. February 2012 was when the Project started in Langiden, Abra. Dubbed as “The Killing Field of the North,” the fear this connotes to the place did not become hindrance to the group of strangers who still went on and immersed with the community. The group did the Social Preparation first. Hiking and walking for kilometers of dessert like rugged roads were their little accomplishments which they

“ So overwhelming to know that community people understand what Kalahi-CIDSS is for and what it really wants for every community it serves. The greatest thing to be seen and experience at this moment is to see how people appreciate and accept the Project and how ACT and MCT see little by little, day after day, the inculcation of empowerment to the people of Langiden, Abra. ” used to in their routine of activities to reach far flung barangays. During the rainy season, the group even crossed the kilometer long Abra River. They really wanted to cross and reach the communities to spread the good news. “We are from Kalahi-CIDSS,” said the Area Coordinator, the leader of the group which identified themselves as the Area Coordinating Team (ACT) to the community. They brought something which the community didn’t believe in due to their experience with politics on their place and what they call “false hope” the government always gives. The community perceived that the government cannot provide them big projects because their population is very small and the barangays are far from each other. Thus, when ACT explained that the Project is different since the community will manage it and a big project such as flood control or water system can be a reality, more encouragement needed to do since they thought that this can be another “ningas kugon.” Digging deeper on the situation in the municipality, other than their being a far flung and their cynical attitude with the Project, people there were mostly busy in doing their personal chores and have no time to attend Barangay Assemblies, or the meetings with regards to the Project. With this situation ACT faced, their Social Preparation was a great challenge. They tried so hard to be able to win the hearts of the community people. Great efforts were exerted to do these things. The ACT along with the Municipal Coordinating 12

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