Capiz young people bounce back after Yolanda
CAPIZ, Philippines – Warren Lavapiez felt his family lost everything after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) rampaged through their tiny village in the Capiz town of Sigma.
“The roof, walls, and even the posts,” the 24-year-old out-of-school youth recounted how his house was blown away.
When all was silent after Yolanda had created unforgettable damage, Warren realized that his family was in far greater trouble. They had just planted rice for the cropping period, but it was all destroyed, further leaving them in debt.
“My father borrowed money to buy the rice seedlings for that season. Our expected yield from the harvest period would have paid the rent for the rice land. We own the land, but it is pawned,” he said in Bisaya.
But almost a year after Yolanda wreaked havoc upon 95% of the agriculture, infrastructure, and livelihood in Capiz, Warren now sees a glimmer of hope for him and his fellow out-of-school youths.
Now a freelance house painter, Warren is one of the 100 beneficiaries of the free technical training organized by the Capiz Archdiocesan Social Action Center (CASAC) in partnership with accredited institutions.
CASAC provides courses in bread and pastry making, carpentry, massage, and meat and fish processing.
Each participant also receives a daily allowance that covers expenses for transportation and food. But most of the time, CASAC prepares lunch and snacks for them.
“This project is funded by Caritas Italiana, and we partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) so our trainees can have certificates after undergoing training,” said Ralph George Kalinisan, CASAC’s training coordinator.
All 100 trainees came from different towns of Capiz. They applied through their parish priests, and underwent a qualifying interview where they expressed their intent to enroll in the training.
“They were made to choose 3 options from among the 4 courses,” said technical director Loriene Garra. She assigned the trainees according to their desired course, with 25 trainees for each program.
Aside from the hands-on training from accredited instructors in the partner institutes, the trainees were given an opportunity to apply their newfound skills. The bread and pastry making trainees, for example, underwent an on-the-job-training in bakeshops in their towns.
“In fact, of the 25 trainees who underwent the carpentry course, we already employed 14 of them, while the 11 are awaiting certification,” Garra added.
“The 14 who were taken in will be assigned to different CASAC-initiated housing projects,” Garra said.
The 100 trainees will also undergo an “in-house” certification before undergoing TESDA’s certification. The certificate can be the trainees’ ticket to employment, she said.
Under Garra's supervision, some of the trainees who had completed their courses and on-the-job training also learned about recycling.
The trainees learned to cut, fold, and roll old magazine pages to make vases, boxes and tabletop decors; popsicle stick pen holders; and piggy banks made of plastic soft drink bottles.
“This training’s aim is really to teach and train them for employment or a sideline,” said Garra.
According to Garra, the trainees can also put up their own business as CASAC will provide micro-financing assistance, provided they undergo courses on business planning, basic accounting, and micro-financing.
Yolanda may have robbed many Capiznons of their agriculture, infrastructure, and livelihood, but this did not deter the willing spirits of these out-of-school youths who see better opportunities ahead.
A year after the horrors of the disaster, Warren and his fellow trainees are picking up the pieces, making sure they will bounce back – soon. – Rappler.com
For Rappler's full coverage of the 1st anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), go to this page.