Community volunteer Josephine Dimamay has been doing volunteer works for Kalahi-CIDSS for almost eight years. Her effort was compensated with self-worth and respect from the community.
Dimamay, 54 began her volunteer works in 2012 up to the present as the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee chairperson in Barangay Lipata, Culasi, Antique.
Triggered by the need for development in her community, Dimamay accepted the responsibilities to lead the pool of community volunteers in implementing community projects since it does not require a college degree.
In Kalahi-CIDSS, it does not matter if the volunteer has limited education.
The Program provides the community volunteers with pieces of training to equip them with organizational and technical skills.
Kalahi-CIDSS even challenges ordinary citizens to transcend their limitations and become the best that they could be.
Dimamay became the representative of the Civil Society organization in the women’s sector. Not
only that, but she was also a parent leader of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, barangay health worker, peer counselor of the Department of Health.
The once timid and ordinary housewife became a self-confident and self-assured woman. It paved way for Dimamay’s participation in different organizations.
Dimamay became the representative of the Civil Society organization in the women’s sector. Not only that, but she was also a parent leader of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, barangay health worker, peer counselor of the Department of Health.
“With Kalahi-CIDSS, I gained the respect of the community, met lots of friends and acquaintances from government offices and people who could help our community.”
Dimamay said she was not able to get a college education because of the lack of her family’s financial capacity. However, she learned a lot in rendering free service to her community.
Her eight years and still counting of being a community volunteer was a well-spent part of her existence.
Dimamay did not regret her decision to lead the community in crafting their development. Her experience has no monetary value.
However, the pieces of training provided to her by Kalahi-CIDSS has molded her to become a responsible member of the community.
“It seems that I have also graduated from college because of the pieces of training provided to us by Kalahi-CIDSS. Now, I am the one teaching and sharing my learnings with my fellow volunteers,’ she said.
She is determined to continue her service as the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee chairperson of Kalahi-CIDSS even if it at times demands much of her time. “My family is proud of what I’m doing now.”
Dimamay recalled they would lose an opportunity to chart their own development when none of the residents take the lead. “Volunteerism is an act of heroism.”
At times people were cynical of this government project. People even mocked her for working hard without receiving any compensation. They could not understand her passion for helping her community.
Kalahi-CIDSS the process is not without setbacks and frustrations. Project proposals may not be prioritized for funding, causing deep disappointment among the community volunteers and barangay officials.
Lipata’s proposed construction of the three-class room building project was not prioritized for funding during the first-year implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS.
Despite Lipata’s fate in the 1st Cycle implementation, Dimamay, and the barangay council did not lose hope.
Dimamay said being a community volunteer takes patience and determination. The people understand that there are still barangays that need help more than the proposed three-class room building presented by Lipata for funding.
In 2013, the proposed three-class room building was again presented and eventually prioritized for funding. The community was reeling to have new classrooms for the Lipata Elementary School to address the lack of classrooms. “At times, there were classes held under the trees,” she added.
She and the entire barangay council wanted to help the school children in achieving their dreams. Students have to go to nearby barangays to get an education. It was difficult and entails additional expenses just to reach school.
The construction of the classroom was not a walk in the park for Dimamay. It has tested her judgment between her family and tasks as a community volunteer.
“There were times when I have to stay late at night to complete the documents involving the disbursements of the fund,“ she said.
Eventually, she learned how to balance her family life and her passion for volunteerism. Her husband and children understood her and threw their support.
The completion of the three-classroom building at the Lipata Elementary School is more than enough compensation for all her efforts. “The joy of the community is also my joy. My heart is full of happiness,” she said. #