Teach them “how to fish….. in dry land” PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 00:00

For how long can the government feed the evacuees?  How far can the donors give free food and other assistance before donor’s fatigue sets in? These are the realities that Zamboanga City has to face in the succeeding weeks (months?). Though DSWD Sec. Dinky Soliman said that her department is preparing to address these challenges, what can we do to help alleviate this grim situation? 

I pondered on this provoking idea upon viewing a panoramic picture view of the Joaqquin Enriquez Grandstand. What I see is a big source of human work force. They can be employed if they are properly taught skills or encouraged to go into business.

TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Authority) is one government agency tasked to train people on how develop skills for employment and for entrepreneurship. In the past, I was able to tap their trainers in projects I have organized. And I was able to work hand in hand with two other government agencies, DOST (Department of Science and Technology) and DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) on livelihood programs. And I thought of inviting them again to join forces to help the evacuees move into a secured future.

Yesterday, I was ecstatic to view from the Facebook of TESDA Zamboanga Senior Specialist Joy Wee that her office started to conduct a skills training at the grandstand last Sunday. For a starter, they taught some volunteered evacuees massage therapy, hair-cut, and bead making. She said there will be more training in the days to come. It will give the evacuees viable new sources of income especially if they have been dependent in fishing or gathering seaweeds she said.  No one can tell when they can go back to their homes near the sea where they get their daily earnings. 

For the meantime, I am calling all schools and other private organizations to conduct skills training and entrepreneurship in evacuation centers. It can be in cooking, baking, tailoring, repair, and other short course skills so that the evacuees can stand on their own. And if possible, provide the initial materials, buy their finished products and sell them. Or employ them.
Let’s teach people “how to fish (earn) in dry land” and we will all live in peace and prosperity.

By Dante Corteza
(Photos by Joy Wee and Raymond Pontillas)

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”