RIZAL PROVINCE – After three and a half years of assisting sectors at risk in pursuing various developmental opportunities, the REBUILD Project of Handicap International (HI) Philippines has officially ended its implementation in the municipality of Baras, Rizal last June 30, 2015.
Delivering concrete livelihood support to more than 250 vulnerable families in the municipality, the project also pursued to create a more favourable environment for persons with disabilities by promoting local governance that is disability-inclusive.
Various forms of training and coaching on livelihood, disability awareness, and disaster risk reduction among others were conducted in the municipality for the duration of the project, which was funded by the European Union and Swiss Solidarity.
It also helped the local Baras Federation of Person with Disability Associations Inc. (BFPWDAI) to position itself as a respected and recognized organization in Baras, with its members becoming more capable of raising awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities.
Baras Accessible Resource Center launched
Further cementing the collaboration of BFPWDAI with the Baras local government was the launching of the Baras Accessible Resource Center. The first of its kind in Rizal, the center features numerous materials in inclusive livelihood development, disaster risk reduction, organizational development and advocacy, and disability rights and laws.
“From being one of the most hard-hit municipalities by Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana), Baras is now one of the most inclusive areas in terms of livelihood,” says outgoing REBUILD Project Manager Joana Villaflor, adding that the project’s advocacies are “in good hands” with the local government and private organizations having a better understanding of disability rights and inclusion by changing their existing practices.
“Needless to say, a lot of work still needs to done. Thus, I encourage the BFPWDAI and the local government to further their partnership and work together in local development actions,” she says.
“Handicap International also hopes that stakeholders in the community would be further improve and replicate our advocacies and initiatives in order to make an inclusive society with equal opportunities become a reality,” says HI Philippines Operational Coordinator Yuban Malla.