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Philippines: Community Capacity Building for Economic Empowerment

Natubleng ‘Persons with a Disability’ Association President (left) with ABM’s Kate Winney. © ABM, Sarah Gover 2017.

Natubleng ‘Persons with a Disability’ Association President (left) with
ABM’s Kate Winney. © ABM, Sarah Gover 2017.

Community Development project


This is part of the Community Development Program: Learn more about ABM’s Programs here


The projects that ABM supports through its partners are not just about the provision of tangible things like water tanks or improved crops for farmers. Projects like
this Community Capacity Building
project are vital for ensuring positive change is made in communities for the longer term, and that the change is not just focussed on the material but is also socially transforming.

This project is part of the community development work of ABM’s two Philippines partners, E-CARE
(Episcopal Community Action for Renewal and Empowerment) and VIMROD (the Visayas and Mindanao Regional Office for Development). It focusses on providing communities with training such as child protection awareness, gender equality awareness, disaster preparation and risk reduction, marketing and how to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in community projects. ABM has played a role both in funding and providing training for partner staff in these important areas. In recent years, E-CARE, for Community Capacity Building for Economic Empowerment example, has experienced an exciting shift in their approach to disability inclusion. Although those living with disabilities had generally benefited from E-CARE’s community development activities, their specific contributions towards the design and implementation of the projects was not consciously sought.

This started to change in late 2015. With support from ABM, E-CARE arranged an orientation training for their staff, focusing on disability inclusion in their programs. This training was the first of its kind for most, addressing topics such as the different types of disability, national laws that protect the rights of those living with a disability, and various ways to include those persons more fully in the social and economic life of their communities.

As a result of the training, E-CARE developed a strong disability policy, specifically seeking “the
meaningful involvement of persons with disabilities in any community development project, both in terms of participation in the planning, implementation and management of the project as well as access to its benefits.”

Another outcome of the training was that E-CARE sought to work directly with a ‘Persons with Disabilities’ (PWD) group in 2016, partnering on a new ‘Receivers to Givers’ project with the Barangay Natubleng Association of Persons with Disabilities. This group was organised by the local government of the municipality of Buguias, and includes five men and ten women members.

VIMROD has also been training the community organisations which they work with in disability inclusion and the rights of those with disabilities, including the MISMA (shell-crafting) group. Judith is one of their members who has a disability. She was inspired by the training to set up her own Disabled Persons’
Organisation so that she could help others like herself to become aware of their rights under the law. Judith told ABM: “I’m very thankful that VIMROD told us about the Philippines law which enables persons with a disability to access various benefits. As soon as I heard this, I went straight to Municipal Hall to process my PWD ID. It gives me 20% discounts on services and goods. Previously I used to hide in my house because I was ashamed of my disability, but now I can come out, and even encourage others”.

ABM is proud to support this project which transform lives both economically and socially. Your gift makes a real and lasting difference.

PH001IF needs $31,870 in 2018 (tax-deductible)

Australian Aid logo This project receives partial funding from the Australian Government.



You can make an online donation to this projectDonate now to this project 


Alternatively, for donations by cheque/money order (made out to the Anglican Board of Mission – Australia), telephone or email, view contact details here. Please don’t forget to include the project name and/or code with your payment details.

Gifts to ABM will be applied to the support of project(s) selected. In the unlikely event of the project being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to a similar project to the one(s) selected. 


Project Update

November 2017 – Empowered through Disability Rights Education. Judith is a single mother and a farm labourer. She also has a physical disability. Read more.

February 2017 – For the last 14 months, the Episcopal CARE Foundation (E-CARE) have experienced an exciting shift in their approach to disability inclusion. Read more.


Asset Based Community Development

The inspiring and thought provoking story of a community in the Philippines that sent back the money for their water project when they decided they could raise the money themselves. This video explores the concept of Asset Based Community Development, which emphasises the strengths and existing assets of communities rather than the needs. 


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