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Growth in the Philippines

Update from Zenona Gread, ICDP trainer and coordinator from Save the Children’s office in Ormoc city, Philippines, where the ICDP programme is a key component of the Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) programme:

In May 2021, a total of 2,008 (1,404 females; 604 males) parents from nine barangays of Villaba (Hinabuyan and Sambulawan), Kananga (Lonoy, Naghalin, Natubgan and Poblacion) and Ormoc City (San Jose, Can-untog and Dunghol) graduated from the parenting programme.  Among the 27 children and youth who gave testimonies during the graduation ceremony, was the 16 years old Jobert Lebolora from Sambulawan, Villaba, who shared the following:

“I see a big behaviour change in my mother because of the parenting programme. She used to nag and shout when giving orders and she easily flared up when we asked her something. But I noticed that during the course of the parenting sessions, she has slowly softened. She doesn’t nag nor does she shout anymore. Our family has become peaceful. My mother and father don’t fight or shout at each other anymore. So, we children help do the household chores without having to be told.”

The qualitative study by an external consultant of the impact on fathers and children of the specially adapted parenting course for fathers, also revealed positive changes of behaviour.

Fathers said that the parenting sessions showed them how to show love and affection to both boys and girls, which they thought was only done by rich families. It made them realize that expressions of love and affection are for all and can be done by mothers and fathers. Here’s a personal account of one of the participant fathers:

“I used to come home from the fields tired and irritable, I even hit the children with a broom, pinched their ears and yelled at them for slightest causes. I didn’t notice their joy upon seeing me come home. They used to meet me and ask if I brought any frogs from the paddies; and when I didn’t, they would get so disappointed, ignoring me, finding any excuse not to do anything I ask of them. After participating in the parenting sessions, I realized I needed to reciprocate their eagerness and happiness on seeing me; and I realized later that that the frogs made them happy, that they liked playing with them, before we cooked them for dinner. Now I make sure to catch some frogs before coming home…”

The participant mothers expressed that they were not just witnesses to the shift in their husbands’ behaviour, but saw themselves as being part of that change. The positive change of their husbands’ behaviour was also an effect of their own change of behaviour through the parenting sessions they too attended.

A total of 64 Family Support Groups (FSGs) were formed as a sustainability and support mechanism of the parenting programme.  FSGs served as the venue for the parents/caregivers to review the parenting topics and continue their savings scheme, “Ang Pangarap kong Proyekto (My dreamed project”) through monthly meetings. FSG savings is a significant facilitating factor for children’s continued education amidst the pandemic. Most FSG savings were used for children’s school needs (Wi-Fi and mobile phones for online classes). A number of FSG members earmarked their savings for house repairs, medical needs of family members, house construction, washing machine, refrigerator, electricity installation, and livelihood capitalization for passenger tricycles, meat vending, hog raising and emergency purposes which also impact on the well-being of the whole family.

Another significant result of the project is that the parenting facilitators organized themselves into a formal cooperative whose aim is to carry on regular updates and reviews of the parenting topics, as well as managing their savings.

Other accomplishments:

  • Adoption of the ICDP parenting programme by Ormoc City Social Welfare Office as an implementation strategy of the “Ormoc City Children’s Welfare Code” for the 110 barangays of the city.
  • During the period between March and July 2021, the roll out of the ICDP parenting programme took place in Ormoc Barangays for a total of 135 parent participants (123 females; 12males)
  • Adoption of the ICDP parenting programme by DSWD – Region 8 as a social case management strategy of the Kilos Unlad (KU) framework [1] in implementation of the 4Ps law or RA 11310, for the whole region per agreement with 4Ps Regional Programme Management Office. Video documentation of the decision by the 4Ps Division Chief was sent to SC Finland.
  • In March 2021, ICDP Facilitator level training was given to 20 (15 females; 2 males) Provincial Links and Social Welfare Officers of DSWD – Region 8 Implementation
  • ICDP parenting programme graduation of 2008 (1,404 females; 604 males) 4Ps parent participants took place in May 2021.
  • ICDP Facilitator level training was given to 150 (130 females; 20 males) officers of the Provincial Links of 4Ps Region 8, as preparatory activities for Year 2022 KU framework implementation of the 4Ps.
  • Evaluations and reflections were carried out of the ICDP parenting programme roll out by the Ormoc City Social Welfare and Development facilitators

[1] KilosUnlad Framework, it is a 7-year modular social case management strategy that aims to guide the 4Ps households to achieve an improved well-being.