written by Alma Petilla, Community Facilitator/CRS.
It is easy to give away shelters, but to create homes out of the shelter is a different matter. The Anibong community is a people limited in access to basic services, limited in opportunities, and largely wanting in confidence to deal with a formalized environment, and not to mention 365 days a year exposure to hazards. It is a community of informal settlers in a very informal settlement.
CRS’ Anibong Resettlement Project (ARP) seeks to reverse the community’s situation through a new settlement and a reinvented capacitated community. How? By giving them voices and listening to what they say. The community driven resettlement project in making participation as policy, is continually giving Anibong residents opportunity to find their voices and learn how to make informed decisions. Their right to be heard and their right to information is demonstrated not only in focus group discussions, or meetings but also in the community posting boards which the community themselves maintain.
The Anibong facilitation team’s program accomplishments owe a lot to the very participative spirit of the community from the community profiling phase, to the formulation of the community action plan, during the formulation of the beneficiary selection criteria and more recently the participatory site development planning.
The Anibong Resettlement Project is not only development work but also a story of a community at last finding their own selves, their voices and home.