Greetings from Signe and Frederik, who are well into their internship at the Disaster Risk Sensitive Shelter Planning project. Here they talk about their work in documenting the project's impact.

Now we have been to the Philippines for two months and our backpacks are packed with many great experiences. We have been to the Philippines to get a deeper insight into the areas the project is working on and at the same time collect Most Significant Stories (MSC). To collect these, we used focus group interviews to gain insight into the changes the project has brought. We conducted the various interviews in the poor households of the population or in the schools of the area, focusing on doing it on their home soil, to make it as relaxing for them as possible. It usually happened with a little curious girl on the leg or 5-6 Philippines outside the door, who, out of curiosity, would see what was going on.

It soon became clear that the project has made a big difference for the population. They say with a proud and big smile on their lips that for the first time they feel that they have a voice for the government and to make a difference. There is now action and not just words. They feel self-sufficient, and have now been given tools for themselves to handle projects, in order to make the community more robust to take part. During “Exchange Visit”, representatives from the various Barangays (municipalities) and the participating partners participated in the project. During the seminar, the focus was on presenting current results in the project, but at the same time also presenting current problems, thereby sharing knowledge with a focus on getting partners and the population in the right direction.

Pictured here is May who is a volunteer from SAC in Ligao (right) and Melinda who is president of Barangay Tinago (left). May acted as an interpreter for us and followed us around the area, to illustrate the problems and the results of the project.
During the “Exchange Visit” the participants were out in the affected areas. Here is a proud leader of a Barangay who shows one of the results of the project. 
Here is one of the issues that we were presented with. When it rains a lot, the river floods and the nearby households are flooded. Already, households are built of weak materials that do not have the strength to withstand this. A family from the area said they had to build their bed at a height of one meter, so they were sure they weren't bothered by the rain. It didn't have to be at large water bodies but just plain rain because there is no drain for the rainwater. 

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