Sunday, November 23, 2008

Davao City Red Cross Youth Council DOES IT AGAIN!

Davao City - Most Outstanding Chapter Youth Council
Neighbors Helping Neighors International Youth Representative

For the third time, the Chapter Youth Council of the Davao City Chapter has retained the title as it has been chosen by the Red Cross Youth-Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) as the country's Most Outstanding Chapter Youth Council of 2008.

The search was conducted with the objective of providing national recognition among young people who have made a difference in providing service to and advocating for the vulnerable people in the community. The youth council that had made a great impact in the society was given due recognition so that what it had done can be adopted in the national level.

Mr. Paul Gwyn Pagaran, Director of the Administrative Office of the PNRC, head the judges, which was also composed of Ms. Catherine Martin, Manager of the Disaster Management Services; Ms. Zenaida Bentejan, Manager of Social Services; Ms. Audrey Zubiri, wife of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri; and Ms. Maan, Operations Manager of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The judges evaluated the six finalists. Among the general criteria were impact of the different projects to the community, participation of the youth, innovativeness and technology used, promotion of the Red Cross principles and services and promotion of the Red Cross Youth objectives.

Among the finalists, Davao City Youth Council emerged as the winner. Other finalists were from Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Manila, Rizal, and Isabela.

The Red Cross Youth Council in Davao City sent its three significant activities that made an impact in the community. The first one was the Pledge 25 College and University Blood Collecting Units which aimed to institutionalize the Pledge 25 Project in Davao City's tertiary educational institution. Its vision was to maintain sufficient blood supply in the city.

Pledge 25 is a young blood donor group of the Red Cross Youth that aims to encourage young people to regularly donate their blood starting the age 18 until they reach the age 25.

Another one was Project One for Tree ng RCY, an established partnership with People Collaborating for Environmental Economic Management in Davao (PCEEM Davao) Foundation Inc. and NCCC Cares Foundation Inc. They project adopted 20 hectares of land in Upper Tamayong, Marilog District, which is part of the Talomo-Lipadas Watershed, a highly threatened watershed in the city.

Its aim was to extend the tree planting activities of the Red Cross Youth in the barangay level and to establish preventive/mitigating measures against future severe flooding at the low lying and and landslide/soil erosion-prone areas in the hinterlands through tree planting. Aside from tree plants, the barangay community was also educated on the importance of trees and reforestation by the participating RCYs.

The third one was the technical team that composed of four independent units equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills on technical service promotions and output delivery. The four groups were divided into the Editorial Board (VITAL LINK) – official publication/newsletter, Fund Generation and Promotions which was the creation of various income generating projects, Production Unit – produce Audio-Visual Presentations and MIS which the systematic databank of RCY members.

Red Cross Youth is the youth program of the Philippine National Red Cross. Its mission is to educate children and youth in the spirit of Red Cross and provide opportunities for directing and harnessing their energy and idealism into worthwhile activities within the framework of the organization. Objectives of the RCY were Advocacy and Inculcation of Moral Values and character Building, Protection of Life and Promotion of Community Health, Service and Solidarity National / International Friendship, Understanding and Education for Peace and Dissemination of Red Cross Principles and International Humanitarian Law.

For two consecutive years – 2006 and 2007 – the Davao City bagged the coveted title making them now part in the Hall of Fame awardees on outstanding youth mobilization. ###

Monday, November 17, 2008

Disaster Leadership Training - American Red Cross Takes the Lead

This past week, people across region got together at the American Red Cross National Headquarters for the National Capital Region Disaster Leadership Training Conference.

Training ranged from Disaster Action Team (DAT) training to Mass Care/Shelter Operations to Emergency Operations Center (EOC)/Emergency Support Function (ESF) #6 to Serving People with Disabilities, and many more.

Not only was the leadership training offered by the American Red Cross, but partners also taught and attended the classes.

This training is supported with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and demonstrated organizations training together to best be prepared and provide leadership before, during, and after a disaster or major emergency.

Many of the participates are not only involved with the Red Cross, but also with multiple local response organizations including the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Volunteer in Police Service (VIPS), Volunteer Mobilization Centers, etc.

The training provided an excellent opportunity for people who often take training in their local community/county to be able to also train with people in other jurisdictions and organizations.

This leadership conference should serve as a model for future training.

Picture below are some of the representatives that attended the Disaster Leadership Training Conference. The picture was taken in the American Red Cross National Headquarters Disaster Operations Center (DOC).

Feedback from Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) in the Philippines

One of the goals for the volunteer work through the Corporate Service Corps (CSC) was not only to offer the training and exercise evaluation locally, but also enable them to teach others and sustain the work we did this past summer.

It was great to offer training while we were there, but will they use these lessons to teach others?

Last week, we received the following email from a representative of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) in the Philippines.

"The activities that we've been through had greatly improved the level of preparedness, response and awareness of the government other private organizations. The Police Regional Office headed by BGen Andres G Caro II had ordered and directed last October that all Chiefs of Police of the 4 Provinces, 9 cities and 46 municipalities to undergo a 3-Day ICS and Crisis Management Training to enhance and improved their level of consequence management in any event. (We) were the main trainers for this.

All is well here and we really appreciate the lessons you imparted to us in the series of activities that we been through. Thank you......."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

From project manager to global citizen in a month

This past week, we have been featuring
emergency response, preparedness, and exercise
videos from Davao City, Philippines.

The complete story, featured on, can be found at:
then, CSC in Philippines (complete story).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Preparing For The Worst Case Scenario - Island Garden City of Samal - Deep Water Search and Rescue Exercise

"The City Disaster and Coordinating Council (CDCC) of the Island Garden City of Samal staged Water Search and Rescue Drills last July 29, as a culminating activity in the observance of the National Disaster Preparedness Month.

The scenario -- Reacting to a report from barangay captain Rey A. Villaabrille of Catagman about a capsized rubber boat with about 10 passengers, Incident Commander Rene E. Ambrona immediately alerted members of the IGaCOS City Disaster Coordinating Council (CDCC) and called for a briefing to assess the incident and dispatch the group to the site for water search and rescue (WASAR) operations. As per report, the boat capsized within the vicinity of the municipal waters of barangays Catagman, PeƱaplata, and San Jose at around 10 AM that day." (Source:

Andrew Levy from the Corporate Service Corps and Neighbors Helping Neighbors was on hand to evaluate the exercise.

The complete article with details about the exercise can be found at:

The following is video taking during the event.

This time it was only a drill.

For additional information, please email

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Making Due With No Supplies

The following video is an annual event held in Davao City with a competition between the barangay responders. These volunteers are often

- self taught,
- self funded,
- self organized,

and make use of the limited resources they have on hand, at times without the support of their local barangay (town leadership).

Not only have all of them responded to emergencies in their communities, they also know how to have fun.

It was an honor to get to know these dedicated volunteers and true heroes. They are role models for others around the world.

Additional information about this competition can be found in an earlier posting at Competition Brings People Closer.

Earthquake Shakes Mindanao Region

While in the Philippines, we had the opportunity to work with the youth at several schools.

"The Buddy Buddy System".

Additional information about this exercise can be found in an earlier posting at Sharing Message With Your Family.

Explosion in Downtown Davao Makes International News

The following took place in downtown Davao City, Philippines.

Representatives from the Corporate Service Corps were on-hand to evaluate this event.

This is only a drill.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Responding to Emergencies in the Philippines

Riding along for actual Central 911 calls in Davao City.


Corporate Service Corps Evaluated The Following School Highrise Fire Emergency Exercise in Davao City

You Never Know When or How Disaster May Strike

It is always best to be prepared.

Preparing for Disasters

The following article was distributed last week through

(6) IBM Center for The Business of Government Report – Preparing for Disasters:

IBM Center for The Business of Government. Preparing for Disasters. Washington DC: IBM, October 30, 2008, 62 pages. At:

This new IBM document contains two essays. The first is on “Keys to Effectively Partner in Temporary Networks,” by William Ross O’Brien. The second is on “Emergency Management Networks in California,” by Richard Callahan, Dan M. Haverty, and Ross Clayton.

From the Introduction by Albert Morales and David Abel with IBM:

The first essay, “Keys to Effectively Partner in Temporary Networks,” by Ross O’Brien, examines the roles of nongovernmental organizations in large-scale emergencies. He interviewed aid workers who participated in the response to the Asian Tsunami in 2004 and leaders in nonprofit organizations involved in the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He observed a series of characteristics that helps explain why some aid organizations were more effective emergency responders. Organizations that display these characteristics are more capable of creating and using temporary networks to address a specific emergency event. He offers advice on what both nonprofit and public managers might do to prepare for such networks in advance.

Separately, but similarly, Dr. Richard Callahan and his colleagues Dr. Dan Haverty and Dr. Ross Clayton examine in the second essay, “Emergency Management Networks in California,” how the State of California has developed a series of emergency response networks and specific tools for preparing and responding to emergencies, whether the emergencies are forest fires, homeland security events, or public health episodes. California has one of the most developed set of emergency response networks in the country, in part from its history with disasters dating back to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. A number of innovations, such as the Incident Command System, were developed by California and are now used nationally.

Together, these two essays provide useful insights for both nonprofit and public managers in preparing for potential future disasters. We hope this report will help them be more prepared.

Friday, November 7, 2008

THINKForum - Serving The World - Role Models of Corporate Social Responsbility

Neighbors Helping Neighbors would like to welcome all the participants of the

A presentation delivered by Andrew Levy, at Showcase Ontario, Lessons Learned From A Global Citizen, highlights some of the experiences mentioned during the session today.

If you would like to discuss this further, please email

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Lessons Learned for MRC

As the polling places have opened in the United States, there are already long lines at local schools.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors will monitor the news reports from the polling to capture some lessons learned that may benefit the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) or other mass distribution organizations.

In the event there ever is a major mass medical distribution, the lines are expected to be larger than that from an election.