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Creating Champions for Resilience Against Natural and Manmade Disasters

Updated: Apr 30, 2019

Natural and man-made calamities have, unfortunately, been part of the normal life of Filipinos. There have been many initiatives from both government and non-government organizations to address this problem, but every years events prove that there is still much work to be done, especially among the urban poor.

The Moving Urban Poor Communities Towards Resilience, or the Move Up Project has been established to empower and assist communities to become more resilient against natural and man-made calamities such as fires, earthquakes, and typhoons. In order to achieve this goal, the Move Up Project has three main interventions: designing and employing alternative temporary shelters, providing mechanisms and strategies for resilient and sustainable livelihood, and institutionalizing resilience initiatives through evidence-based advocacy.

"Throughout the duration of the project, we saw great interest to be involved for the community. We want to make a difference by helping the community members be better prepared in facing disaster, and be equipped to move forward after the disasters," said Chrisnobel Cruz, Move UP Consortium Manager. "The program brought out community champions and have seen how these communities transformed from feeling hopeless when calamities happen to being more resilient and empowered," added Cruz.

In its first phase, the Move Up Project identified and covered disaster-prone urban centers; Quezon City, Malabon, and Valenzuela City. For its second phase, the project replicated its effort to Navotas City and Caloocan City.

Because of its expansive coverage, various activities are simultaneously initiated to make sure that the project's targets are net. The Move Up Project is run by a consortium of international non-government organizations lead by Plan International Philippines with Action Against Hunger CARE, with its partner ACCORD. The project is funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid.

The Move Up Project so far

To date, the Move Up Project has designed 14 improved Alternative Temporary Shelter (ATS) in partnership with the United Architects of the Philippines – Emergency Architects.

These ATS are robust, affordable, scalable, has a wide-range of applicants. These ATS models ae continuously enhanced to suit with the varying needs of urban setting.

The Move Up Project’s second intervention involves strengthening resilient livelihoods mechanism for the urban poor. This involved increasing awareness in the community and setting up groups to reach the communities such as the Community-based Entrepreneur Developments (CBED) as well as connecting the beneficiaries to employment and business opportunities. A social protection mechanism in the form of micro insurance was also introduced as a strategy for a resilient livelihood.

“The stories of the community are very inspiring. With the livelihood program, community members became more industrious and resourceful to use what’s available in the community to do business.” said Cruz. “Successes of the communities are clear indication that if we work together as a community, we can overcome any challenge.”

The Move Up Project also conducted assessment activities that helped identify necessary interventions and actions and projects for communities/groups/associations based on their needs and capacities. Drills and trainings are conducted in schools and communities. Parents are given an orientation on the proper guidance of children in times of emergencies. Urban farming is growing among the communities and people have been harvesting from their own produce. Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management committees have been strengthen and organized as well as Zone Emergency Response Teams (ZERTs) are now in place and ready to assist the barangay in case of disasters.

The National Conference is the culmination of the Project’s activities and a celebration of the fruits of all its efforts together with partners and beneficiaries from local government units, national agencies and other stakeholders.

There are many obstacles and challenges that the Move Up Project has faced and will continue to face in its continued efforts in helping the urban poor prepare for calamities. But the work goes on, and just like what its members and volunteers have been teaching the communities, the Move Up Project will continue with resilience.

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