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Metamorphosis_Kalahi-CIDSS Compendium 2015

Senior citizen finds joy

Senior citizen finds joy in volunteerism after retirement 57 At first glance, Illuminada Aveňo is not any different from a typical woman you see in Patoc, Bucay, Abra. She wakes up early in the morning, drinks her coffee, walks around the community, calls and texts her friends and family and does backyard gardening. But once you’ll meet her, you’ll discover she is far from ordinary. A retired elementary school teacher, Illuminada or Manang Lumen as she is fondly called is a dedicated community volunteer now. In her barangay, she heads three different committees acting as a president of Senior Citizen Organization, leading the community as a member of Health and Sanitation Committee, and serving as chairperson of Barangay Sub-project Management Committee (BSPMC) of Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) Project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Not bad for someone who is already in her early 70’s. Proving that senior citizens are still productive members of the community, Manang Lumen started to become a bona fide community volunteer at the age of 65 after retiring as a teacher. But even while teaching, she was a volunteer adult teacher busily educating learners interested in reading, writing, and mathematics. After her retirement, she became a member of the Barangay Health and Sanitation Committee where she leads the community on clean-up drives. Together with the members of the committee, she also assesses households who have no toilets and recommends them for toilet bowl assistance. When the opportunity to become a part of their community’s development came, she gladly participated and was chosen as BSPMC Chairperson in 2012. “When staff from Kalahi- CIDSS came here, they helped us identify the most important need of our community and we unanimously agreed that it’s water system because potable water doesn’t reach our houses,” Manang Lumen said in vernacular. The Kalahi-CIDSS Project is one of the core poverty reduction programs of the Philippines which aims to empower poor communities through the community-driven development

Face to face with the young generation. Manang Lumen appears wistful as she looks at a distance while a child innocently stares at her* (CDD) approach which gives communities the control over planning, decisions-making and implementing projects for local development. In 2013, the barangay was able to complete a pump house and a tank and is stillfully operational. The structure costs PhP634, 364.00 financed by the Municipal Local Government (MLGU) of Bucay, Abra. With the pump house and water tank as their kick-off, Manang Lumen and her fellow volunteers submitted another proposal for the construction of a footbridge across Patoc River, a tributary of Abra River which will connect their barangay to Barangay Dugong. The footbridge is supposed to provide an easier and faster access to the main road. Unfortunately, they were not prioritized during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF) in 2013 as the budgetary requirement is not feasible at that time. MIBF-PRA is an activity in Kalahi-CDSS where proposals are evaluated and prioritized by the communities 58

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