Smart, university, youth org empower women in disaster preparedness

After joining Smart Communications’ TNT Tropang Ready training of trainers last year, faculty and students from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) National Service Training Program (NSTP) and Red Cross Youth (RCY) conducted their own disaster preparedness training for women of Barangay Lapasan in Cagayan de Oro City.

In time for the celebration of Women’s Month, Smart and USTP partnered with the Lapasan Barangay Council to empower women to be prepared for any calamity, through the TNT Tropang Ready in Action.

Barangay Lapasan, which is also the university’s adopted community, is a flood-prone area, according to Dr. Maria Teresa Fajardo, USTP director for extension of community relations.

“Empowering the women for disaster risk management is a means of boosting the capacity of the community to respond intelligently to any calamity,” Lapasan said.

Gio Cagurin, a registered nurse and NSTP faculty, has been an advocate of disaster readiness for five years. He taught the mothers how to spot signs of dehydration and how to make a homemade Oresol solution.

Saving lives

“Dehydration, which often follows vomiting and diarrhea, is prevalent during disasters,” he said. “To save lives, it is important to know how to spot the signs and know alternative treatments.”

One of the participants was Lucia Quicho, an active emergency responder in their barangay. She attended the training because she advocates disaster preparedness at home and in their neighborhood and wanted to improve her skills on it at the same time.

“I am happy to be here with other women and my neighbors and learning a lot from this training. As mothers, we are normally expected to work on household chores, but this program empowers us and proves that we can do a lot more,” she Quicho shared.

Marivic Acut, a 57-year old who attended a disaster preparedness training for the first time, thinks it’s not too late for her to learn something new at her age. She learned the importance of an “emergency-” or “e-balde” and keeping necessary documents in a box, so she could bring them right away during evacuation.

Mariane Vitor, a member of RCY who attended the TR training of trainers last year, believes that teaching the women and mothers about preparedness is very important. “They are the ones who will help in preparing and guiding their family during calamities,” Vitor said.

“Everyone needs to be ready because it is part of life and survival,” said Ronella Enguito, NSTP coordinator,

With the success of their own session, she hopes to promote disaster preparedness to other communities, with the help of the students, USTP’s very own Tropang Ready.

Tropang Ready is one of the programs of Smart that brings disaster preparedness nationwide by partnering with schools like USTP.

“We’ve been touring schools all over the Philippines to better equip students with the knowledge and training they need in disaster preparedness. We hope to reach more communities through the help of the youth, as they apply their learnings from the Tropang Ready caravan and training of trainers,” said Maria Jane Paredes, public affairs head, Smart Visayas-Mindanao.