Bill Brower is a Field Program Officer with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout South and Southeast Asia. On March 5th he met with Joseph Rosal of the De la Salle University Center for Social Concern and Action and Noli Abinales of their implementing partner, Buklod Tao, in the COSCA office in Manila. His “Postcard” from the visit:
COSCA has already reported on their initial response to last year’s Typhoon Ondoy; in speaking with them and seeing pictures, it does appear that money from GlobalGiving’s generous donors was able to help many people in the chaotic days and weeks following the storm with emergency supplies and medical teams. There is still some money left and I was happy to hear that it will be going to disaster risk reduction—replicating in other communities the success Buklod Tao has had in San Mateo. Too often disaster response is limited to what can be done ex post facto, missing the most effective way to save lives: being prepared before the worst hits.
Noli Abinales and others started Buklod Tao in 1997 as a community-based disaster management team. They trained rescue teams, fabricated rescue boats and developed an early warning system. Since then there have been no casualties in their community, unlike in neighboring communities. Their primary initiative these days is “on-site relocation”—building higher, safer homes in the communities where vulnerable families live. They have also been putting up embankment walls, some with the help of DLSU students, to help prevent flooding. I’m happy that GlobalGiving money will allow COSCA and Buklod Tao to expand these life-saving initiatives to other communities, long after much of the world’s attention has moved on to Haiti, Chile, China…
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Director, Center for Social Concern and Action
National Capital Region