USAID Mission Director Dr. Susan Brems Visits Zamboanga

(Original post from USAID Philippines Facebook Page)

Continuing on her Zamboanga visit, USAID Mission Director Dr. Susan Brems discussed the city’s response to the impacts of El Niño and climate change with representatives from the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD). “I understand that Zamboanga City is already in its third year of drought. Unfortunately, with climate change, the situation will likely worsen in future years. This is why our collaboration with you is timely and important as we work to address these mounting challenges,” said Dr. Brems.

In 2014, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced the occurrence of a strong El Niño. The island of Mindanao, including the Zamboanga Peninsula, is one of the areas hardest hit by El Niño and has experienced below normal rainfall. USAID is supporting Zamboanga City in improving water security and sanitation, preparing for the impacts of climate change, and strengthening its economic competitiveness and resilience.

USAID Turns over Health Training Models in Davao

Department of Health-Davao Region, represented by Regional Director Dr. Abdullah Dumama Jr., receives maternal, newborn, child health, and family planning anatomical training models from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Jhpiego through the MindanaoHealth Project.

Department of Health-Davao Region, represented by Regional Director Dr. Abdullah Dumama Jr., receives maternal, newborn, child health, and family planning anatomical training models from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Jhpiego through the MindanaoHealth Project.

Manila, March 1 , 2016 — In a recent visit to Davao City, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Philippines’ Mission Director Susan Brems handed over new health training models to the Department of Health-Davao Region and Brokenshire Memorial Hospital in support of the shared U.S.-Philippines goal to improve the delivery of health services in the region.

  The models will make training, post training evaluation activities, and supportive supervision sessions more interactive than traditional training methods that simply use illustrations or photos. “These tools will improve the quality of training, expand access to maternal and child health services, and ultimately promote stable and prosperous homes and communities throughout the region,” said Director Brems.

  The ceremony was held at Brokenshire Memorial Hospital, a private medical institution, where Director Brems was also briefed about the hospital’s teen health program. The Brokenshire Hospital Program for Teens, implemented by the hospital’s Women’s Center and supported by USAID’s MindanaoHealth project, was launched in September 2015. It has served 92 young people by providing information about fertility, sexuality, and reproductive health.

Brokenshire Hospital Resident-in-Charge of the Program for Teens Dr. Tessa Mae Bonguyan (right) shows USAID Philippines’ Mission Director Susan Brems the Program for Teens Operational Guide. (Photos: MCossid/Jhpieg)

Brokenshire Hospital Resident-in-Charge of the Program for Teens Dr. Tessa Mae Bonguyan (right) shows USAID Philippines’ Mission Director Susan Brems the Program for Teens Operational Guide. (Photos: MCossid/Jhpieg)

Be a MOOCer, Be a Blessing

By Rebecca Casas Sagot
Watch the video here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1023633651033967&permPage=1

Watch the video here.

As a way of paying back for the learning opportunities gained after completing a MOOC on Shaping the Way We Teach English, the MOOCers from Tagum City who called themselves Courserians of Tagum City initiated a Christmas Outreach activity last December 29, 2015 to the 144 kids of the families which were badly hit by 2012 Typhoon Pablo in Barangay Andap, New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province.

Smiles and laughter filled the air as MOOCers distributed packed meals as well as gift bundles containing health kits, toys and school supplies to the kids. Stories were told, dances and Christmas carols were rendered and parlor games with prizes were done.

The Tagum City MOOCers were reinforced by the MOOCers from the Municipality of New Corella who came in book characters and superheroes’ costumes, thus, making the event more meaningful, memorable and enjoyable for children. While some MOOCers from the Municipality of Sto. Tomas and San Isidro joined and facilitated the games. There was a total of 31 MOOCers including the MOOC Camp Facilitator of DepEd Davao del Norte.

The outreach program is one of the activities MOOCers initiate to keep themselves engaged and well-bonded as this is also an avenue for them to thank the US Department of State and the U.S. Embassy for the MOOC opportunity afforded to them. Aside from this group too, MOOCers from other municipalities were able to initiate outreach programs though were not just documented. Some of those MOOCers’ Outreach Activities include establishing little free libraries in identified purok centers, conduct art tutorials for kids, and linking with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and benevolent individuals for possible donations of school supplies for distribution to school children at the far-flung and geographically disadvantaged areas.

US Launches Projects for Women-Farmers, Youth in Zamboanga Del Sur

Women Empowerment Movement Rural Improvement officers and chapter presidents pose with Governor Antonio Cerilles, Representative Aurora Cerilles, local officials and U.S. Embassy officers during project launch.

Women Empowerment Movement Rural Improvement officers and chapter presidents pose with Governor Antonio Cerilles, Representative Aurora Cerilles, local officials and U.S. Embassy officers during project launch.

Manila, October 14, 2015 — A team from the Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy Manila launched two separate projects that will benefit more than 800 women and 40 youth from conflict-affected areas of Zamboanga del Sur.

  One project, called “Promoting Agricultural Entrepreneurship among Disadvantaged Women,” will enable women-farmers in all 27 municipalities of Zamboanga del Sur to become entrepreneurs and leaders in agricultural development.  The training is designed by U.S. Embassy partner Women Empowerment Movement Rural Improvement Club Zamboanga del Sur, Inc. This two-year project will help beneficiaries expand their economic opportunities by helping them identify agricultural resources, markets, and technologies that can increase their incomes. The project is funded by the U.S. Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.

Ryan Bradeen, U.S. Embassy Manila’s Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer, talks about the Children of War project and its impact on youth.

Ryan Bradeen, U.S. Embassy Manila’s Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer, talks about the Children of War project and its impact on youth.

  The second project, called “Children of War,” aims to transform 40 youth from conflict-affected areas into peace agents in their own communities. This innovative project will provide technical education and career skills certification, as well as offering training and certification in peace advocacy and conflict resolution. Participants will then share their acquired knowledge, training 200 community peace volunteers from their respective communities to become leaders themselves.

(First posted on the U.S. Embassy website)

USAID Supports LGBT Rights and Issues Forum in Zamboanga City

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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Enhancing Governance through Accountability and Engagement (ENGAGE) Program supported the gathering of leaders of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) community in Zamboanga City on September 14 to discuss issues on discrimination, sexuality and identity during the 11th Speak Out Zamboanga, dubbed as “Mainstreaming LGBT rights and issues in Zamboanga City.”

lgbt 3City Mayor Beng Climaco, addressing some 90 participants of the forum, highlighted the need to respect the dignity of every person, regardless of gender identity, sexuality, or orientation.

Speak Out Zamboanga is a youth forum designed to serve as an avenue for young people to share their thoughts and discuss matters affecting the City and the youth sector.  Now on its second year, the forum is undertaken by the City Government in collaboration with various youth organizations and formations and is supported by USAID-ENGAGE.

Among the major issues raised by the LGBT leaders were: becoming victims of sexual abuse and bullying as children, stereotyping leading to decreased career opportunities, physical violence, being treated as a second class citizen, and discrimination inside the church, among others.

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Among the recommendations raised by the groups were: awareness campaigns to address bullying and discrimination, promotion of responsible and gender-sensitive journalism, support for HIV-AIDS program and interventions, enactment of anti-discrimination ordinance, program on gender-sensitive parenting, promotion of community dialogue on gender and development.

The forum concluded with the formation of a core group of leaders coming from various LGBT groups who will work towards the formation of an LGBT alliance in the city.