Nesan Suazo, a day care teacher, gleefully assembles her students as they warmly welcome visitors in front of their Day Care Center at Barangay Gamuton, Carrascal, Surigao del Sur. The child development center was constructed through the joint efforts of the community and funded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD’s) Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program.

For any parent, their children’s welfare is a priority. This is evident in the residents and community volunteers of the barangay, when finding a new location for their day care center became their major concern. The day care center building they utilized before was situated inside the public elementary school. However, when the K to 12 program was enacted into law, they were forced to separate elementary students from day care students leaving the latter with no proper place to conduct classes for the next school year. They resorted to using the Barangay Health Workers’ building as their temporary classroom but the place was too small to accommodate all the day care students. They thought of using the barangay’s multi-purpose building but it was too spacious and open that children could easily get distracted. The community found an opportunity to lobby the sub-project during the 3rd cycle of implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS as the program uses the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach in carrying out community development projects.

Kalahi-CIDSS’ CDD mechanism helps empower communities by providing a platform wherein they are made to determine their needs and priorities, propose a solution to address these and implement the community project themselves with grants from the program. Gamutan was among the barangays selected for prioritization of funding. With their day care center completed, the community fervently hopes that this will help lay a strong foundation for the future generations.