Inspirational success stories from our partners and beneficiaries

Small town finds a Champion

Written by Carl James G. Ocubillo
Wenina Rosellosa, Community Volunteer of Purok Bayabas, Brgy. Canagahan, San Remigio, Cebu Wenina Rosellosa, Community Volunteer of Purok Bayabas, Brgy. Canagahan, San Remigio, Cebu Carl James G. Ocubillo

She joined KALAHI-CIDSS not out of personal desire but on how she saw the lack of changes that undoubtedly stuck her community from progress.

The small barangay of Canagahan has found an ally in Wenina Rosellosa or ‘Nanay Wennie’, a senior citizen community volunteer of Barangay Canagahan, San Remigio in Cebu.

She believes that there should be a voice that will spread the message of volunteerism in the community. Through this, the development that a community dreams to have will become possible.

For Nanay Wennie, the decision to join KALAHI-CIDSS as a Community Volunteer is like giving herself a microphone. Her eloquence and the ability to speak draws back to her younger years where she was a teacher in a public school.

In 2019, Nanay Wennie joined KALAHI-CIDSS and actively participated in various activities. This gave her confidence that her voice would be heard through assemblies, allowing her to speak to a more focused audience.

When she joined to be a community volunteer, she knew that the efforts of DSWD workers were made to bring progress to their community. She did not hesitate to heed the call for volunteers.

Nanay Wennie said that “Ako kining gipili sa walay pagduha-duha ug wala ko masayop nga akong gidawat ang hagit nga mahimong usa ka boluntir (I choose to become a volunteer without hesitation and I am not mistaken that I accepted the challenge).”

During her time as a volunteer, she urges everyone to believe in the realization of the projects being offered to them and recognize the importance of participation. Her motivation to join became an inspiration to other members of the volunteer group to see the goodness of KALAHI-CIDSS and eventually aspire for progress in their community.

“Madasig ko sa higayon nga ako mobatbat kabahin sa KALAHI-CIDSS ngadto sa mga purok sa among komunidad. Akong gilantaw ang dakong hulagway sa kabag-uhan nga pwedeng mahitabo sa usa ka gamay nga komunidad kon ang mga tawo mahatagan og oportunidad sa pagpartisipa ug pagtinabangay. (I feel alive every time I discuss about KALAHI-CIDSS to every ‘purok’ in our community. I looked at the bigger picture of the possibility that a small community like ours can become progressive if people are empowered to participate and work together), says Nanay Wennie.

Perhaps the biggest reason why she joined the program is her experience when she was a student and later became a teacher that goes to school on a rocky road. This strongly influenced her desire to accept and embrace the program’s vision.

The lack of access roads does not only affect students and educators like her but also farmers, who have difficulties in the delivery of their products to the town’s market. For her, this is one problem she sees that hinders the progress of Canagahan.

She also met a lot of challenges during the implementation of their sub-project. People think that their participation in KALAHI, without compensation, will bring no good to their families as they have mouths to feed at the end of the day.

Although the group of volunteers in Canagahan are few, she continued sharing information about the program. With this experience, Nanay Wennie became firm and motivated knowing her efforts would not be put to waste.

After a year of project implementation, Brgy. Canagahan received its 0.650 km access road in Purok Bayabas. The community folks, especially the farmers, gladly welcomed the completed farm-to-market road.

Because of this, Nanay Wennie is considered by many, as a strong-willed person and a hero, for pushing a change in their community. Her vision for development, as a way of life, became a reality that helped students go to school and farmers deliver their products conveniently.

She never doubted herself nor wary about what other people thinks of her. “Daghan pa ang angayan buhaton apan sa nakita nako nga kabag-ohan diri sa among komunidad, nabati nako nga aduna koy nindot nga nakab-ot sa akoang kinabuhi (There are so much to be done but the progress I see now in our community makes me feel I have achieved something good in my life),” says Nanay Wennie.

The completed road made her realize that the promise of KALAHI-CIDSS and DSWD to look after the welfare of the people is a clear testament that there is a possibility when people work together.

As a champion comes with bigger expectations. What keeps Nanay Wennie motivated is the realization of other volunteers to communicate their stories and gain more support for KALAHI-CIDSS.

Hopefully, soon, Nanay Wennie says she wants to see more people, especially younger ones, to participate and join KALAHI. In her spare time, she continues to engage with people and discuss with them how the program transformed her.

She also thinks that talking to other community members from neighboring barangays will also encourage people to support and join the cause of DSWD’s people empowerment.

Her legacy continues as the people of Canagahan benefit from the roads that she once dreamed of. Her unfailing gratitude for KALAHI is a validation of her selfless pursuit for progress.

All these in the name of helping her community kept her small town’s progress alive and well.


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