In terms of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) understanding the capacity to reduce risk is important because every person is a valuable resource to prevent loss, including persons with disabilities. This can be achieved with including persons with disability in planning DRR in the community meeting. Persons with disabilities through Disabled People Organisation have the capacity to make meaningful contribution for inclusive policy in DRR (Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) on target 4). ASB Indonesia and Philippines program supported by Aktion Deutchland Hilft, make inclusion. Sharing knowledge on Disability Inclusive DRR and capacity building for persons with disabilities boost the confidence of persons with disabilities during community meeting with local government for DRR planning. Through this meeting leaders of persons with disabilities build network with the government and make optimum contribution to the community.
In the Philippines, Municipality of Lawaan there are 243 persons with disabilities; and Jay Catalogo, work as a clerk for the office of tourism in the municipality. He have mobility difficulty but enthusiast about visibility and awareness of persons with disabilities. Jay claims he never felt ostracized or mistreated in the barangay. His confidence grows and his strengthened capacity in DRR throughout phase one of the Project Persons with Disability: Empowered, Engaged (Centre for Disaster Preparedness with ASB Indonesia and the Philippines supported by Aktion Deutschland Hilft). Jay is active in workshops and community meeting to develop disaster preparedness plan with the government. He is passionate about the formation of a functional disabled people organization (DPO) and actively contributing in the re-establishment of Special Disabled People of Lawaan (SDAPOL).
His ability as a leader made him elected as the public information officer during the Disability Congress in the Municipality of Lawaan on December 3, 2015. He even attend a workshop and training in Bolusao, althought the barangay is not one that covered by the project. Jay plays a role as representative of the local government unit, answering the questions of community members and allowing for a more holistic perspective. He became as a bridge in communication gap between the community and the local government, forging a stronger partnership between local government, DPO and community. According to him, the biggest help or impact that he have acquired, from the beginning of the project till the end, is he became stronger, knowledgeable and learned about the legal bases and rights of persons with disability.
Change is happening through series of inclusion activities, focus group discussion, mentoring and on day to day interaction in the community. Capacity building in DRR for persons with disabilities increase the self-esteem and their visibility in the community and the local government. They are invited and included in the community meetings. Their strengths and the capabilities recognize valuable to prevent greater loss.
Article provided by: Anggiasari Puji Aryati
Communication Coordinator DiDRRN