December 12th – 14th Visit to General Santos, Philippines
After a very busy schedule in Quezon City and completing my tasks, myself and part of the LCDPFI Team flew to General Santos (Jensen). I attended the Partners’ Conference with so many individuals from various professions, some of the individuals who attended were Persons with some form of Disability. It was a real pleasure meeting such inspiring individuals. The conference was to celebrate the World International Disability Day which is normally celebrated on 3rd December annually. There were various presentations shared by the LCDPFI staff and from the individuals whom Leonard Cheshire Philippines have helped in transforming the livelihoods of many individuals. The Livelihood Project included how capital for individuals was provided to start a small business, assisting with training to the individuals and working with employers and partners which included awareness on how the candidates are screened placement of persons with disabilities in employment, capacity building – this included support training from HR team and employees on basic sign language and disability sensitization. There is need for effective implementation of The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) and help to create a better world for the disabled people. Behaviors in some countries still exist where PWD’s face significantly more difficulties in attaining access to adequate health, education and employment.
I was asked once again asked to share my experience of the Conference which I felt honoured to do so. I felt there was a real community spirit and I learnt so much and the conference was certainly eye opening for me. We tried some sign language in the room which was really interesting, I shared my whole experience with these individuals.
Myself and my Colleague Shridhar were asked to present award of Certificate of Recognition to partners for their individual participation and gone an extra mile supporting Economic Empowerment Programme “Access to Livelihoods”.
Visit to City of Tacurong
After the conference the LCDPFI team and myself and Sridhar were invited to an Orientation to Employees’s with Disability of the Local Government Unit of Tacurong which is around two hours by road from Jensen.
The Orientation started with a prayer by a visually impaired (VI) colleague Mr Joliver Caupe, so inspiring and an amazing voice, see below video. Its amazing to know almost all of the households generally in Philippines spend their leisure time singing on the karaoke, locally term the videoke. They have a real passion for singing.
After the prayer there was the National Anthem below video:-
Below is the whole team who attended Orientation Training, there was a real vibrant atmosphere and I thoroughly enjoyed the Training and being part of the Tacurong Community. Myself and the team also visited to the office of the SK Chairman where LCDPFI has supported in providing some funding to a small community for them to start a small business. Again I met some real inspiring people, there were families I met where the whole family were visually impaired but they all support each other in the community and over come barriers through the LCDPFI training for self employment. In the below video you will see a real community spirit, there s a shop where a lot things are hand made which is then sold to generate income.
Eat your heart out😃 as mentioned before Filipinos are real food lovers, I ordered soup for starters and here it comes the portion was enough to feed three people at least. Same with other dishes such as rice, the food is real mouthwatering and so tasty hence my calorie count is a no no 😂. We also had team dinner again (more food), again the highest of standards and generous portions which was shared by us all. We thought we would go to the restaurant by local transport, this was a great experience.
Hope you enjoyed reading……… my next blog coming soon… yes more blogs!