Activity Report from Philippines

Activity Report from Philippines

Life Haven’s Activity Report
APNIL Meeting
June 17, 2009

Last April, Life Haven assisted Mr. Edwin De Villa in organizing the
first Independent Living and Peer Counseling Seminar Workshop at San
Juan, province of Batangas. The workshop is the first major activity in
the municipality to organize and mobilize persons with disabilities. The
seminar workshop provides a venue for the participants to talk about
their own life experience and to learn from their fellows as well. For
the first time, persons with disabilities in San Juan assembled together
for the purpose of organizing them into a self-help group. On the same
month, Mr. Abner Manlapaz flew to Norway to study the personal assistant
system in ULOBA. The study trip is both informative and fun as I travel
with my personal assistant to visit the peer counselors of ULOBA at
their home office. The IL center model in Norway is very much different
compared to the Japanese model. In Norway, there is only one center
(ULOBA) who provides the personal assistant services throughout the
country. ULOBA’s services, which is based on the philosophy of IL is
limited in providing assistance services to persons with disabilities.
Their cooperative cannot provide the full range of services of an IL
center because their by-laws prohibit them to do more than what is
written in the by-laws. More information will be provided after Mr.
Manlapaz finished his report. In collaboration with APCD and SCIF, we
translated the DVD video about Nakhonpathom IL Center into Tagalog
version so that Filipinos can understand the video more easily. Last May
30, 2009 Life Haven and the Association of People with Disabilities of
Santa Rosa organized the fund raising concert dubbed “Live Free” with
collaboration of the Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled in
Malaysia. The Beautiful Gate Performance Art Troupe is the main
performer of the event. The concert itself was great. Unfortunately, we
fall short of the target funds to be raised. Nonetheless, the media
mileage is great by itself. Aside from promotion and plugging of the
concert by different TV and radio stations, Life Haven’s activities and
services was highlighted by a major talk show program (Mel & Joey.) The
project “Empowering Persons with Disabilities thru Community Organizing”
has started. The funds for the project came from APNIL. Life Haven
printed its brochures. We started the survey to identify persons with
disabilities in four barangays. We have identified 158 persons with
different types of disabilities. Most of the persons with disabilities
we have identified are interested to be visited by our organization. The
next step now is to visit them to formally introduce Life Haven.

Edwin De Villa’s Report
Spinal Cord Injury Foundation and Life Haven, Inc. conducted a 3 day
Independent Living and Peer Counseling Workshop at Village Plaza Hotel,
Barangay Maraykit, Municipality of San Juan, a first class municipality
located in the Province of Batangas last April 2-4, 2009 for the United
Disabled Citizens of San Juan, an organization of people with
disability. This was approved and supported by Mayor Danilo S. Mindanao
through the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office. It was
attended by 17 participants. Most of the participants are not severely
disabled but they are having their own struggles. After seeing severely
disabled people leading such an activity, most of them realized their
potentials, increased hope for a better life and learned the possibility
of severely disabled people to live in the community. The United
Disabled Citizens of San Juan intends to share the Philosophy of
Independent Living to the other people with disability in the
municipality and expand their membership.
Community Based Rehabilitation has been present in San Juan, Batangas
since 2007. Volunteer doctors and therapists from the University of the
Philippines regularly conduct activities in the area. They learned
about our activities in the area and they had a representative attend
the First day of the previous IL workshop. They have expressed their
interest in collaborating with the NGOs and the Municipal Social
Welfare and Development Office to improve the quality of life in San
Juan, Batangas.
I will be working for the Municipal Social Welfare Development Office of
San Juan, Batangas soon. Some of my objectives will be research and
proposal of programs and services for People with Disabilities. Through
the cooperation of local people with disabilities and the existing
organization, it will be an advantage to promote IL and provide the
services, though the economic status of the town may still set issues.
The Association of People with Disabilities ? Santa Rosa, An associate
organization of SCIF and Life Haven, Inc. in collaboration with
Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled from Malaysia held a fund
raising and an IL awareness concert titled “Live Free” on May 30. Main
performers were from Beautiful Gate Performance Art Troupe. The
performers were great though we did not reach our expectations in terms
of audience and income. It triggered the interest of the people present
during the concert, and earned positive comments from friends and
relatives.

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