HI helping PRC be more inclusive

In the photo: Jaira, one of the participants of the first disability inclusive training for Philippine Red Cross staff, “experienced” how to have physical impairments during in one of the activities. © Edward Aquino / Handicap International

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) aspire to improve their organization by providing a comprehensive set of services for the people in vulnerable conditions and become a more inclusive of persons with disabilities with the goal of becoming one of the foremost humanitarian organizations in the country.

To achieve this, PRC sought the expertise of Handicap International (HI) to come up with a strong strategy on disability inclusion. In response to PRC’s request, HI proposed that selected PRC staff should undergo various training sessions to improve their knowledge and skills in disability inclusion to enable them in assessing problems/challenges in their organization and implementing changes on the policies, strategies and organization work to sustain the effort.

With this, the consultancy project of HI with PRC was officially signed on 1 November 2016.

The first batch of PRC staff who took the basic disability inclusion training were from the National Headquarters and other selected Luzon-based chapters. The training was conducted from 6-9 December 2016 at Legend Villas, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.

Edward Ello (inclusion advisor) and Emmaleeh Pequit (inclusion officer) of HI facilitated the four-day training with the aim to: 1) sensitize the participants on the situation of persons with disabilities and 2) develop participant’s inherent understanding of disability inclusion to ensure that they always use this lens in designing, developing, improving and assessing PRC’s projects, services, policies and processes.

Pre- and post-test of the participants showed a learning gain of 60.2 per cent with the biggest knowledge increase in the areas of 1) disability models and barriers, 2) description of an inclusive society, 3) definition of the accessibility law, 4) types of services and 5) difference between disability and impairment.

“The training made me realize the importance of having a disability inclusion component in the work that we do in PRC, especially in the services that we provide,” said Butch Singson, Project Technical Advisor of PRC.

Prior to the training, Training Needs Analysis (TNA) was administered to identify the learning needs of the expected training participants in the topic of disability inclusion. Results showed that 1) all are interested in understanding how disability inclusion can be integrated into the program management cycle, 2) all lack experience in conducting/facilitating disability inclusion training and 3) there is a need to improve their knowledge and capacities in communicating with persons with disabilities.

Next to undergo the same training are the PRC Cebu staff on 17-20 January 2017.