Proactive Preparedness

 The Philippines is one of the most disaster-plagued areas in the world. The country is vulnerable to the most violent storms, like typhoon Haiyan that killed thousands of people and brought devastation to the Visayas region on November 8, 2013. After witnessing the destruction caused by disaster in the country, particularly among the ultrapoor communities, ICM set out to train pastors in the Thrive network to become pillars in their communities for disaster preparedness.

In partnership with Tearfund, ICM created a curriculum for pastors on disaster preparedness and conducted pilot training in Bacolod and General Santos in the last quarter of 2014. We hired a team of ICM trainers and project officers to implement the training program. We also identified and trained 160 volunteer pastors from the Thrive network to assist in training each of ICM’s 80 Thrive districts.

The long-term change that we sought to achieve is for pastors and community members to be more prepared for future disasters and to live in safer communities. The training of pastors included topics on disaster and the Bible, identifying existing resources in the local church, assessing and reducing risks, preparing for and responding to disaster, and conducting community training.

With the help of volunteer pastors we were able to train 3,295 pastors on disaster preparedness from January-May 2015. These pastors were able to conduct 2,593 community training sessions attended by 108,758 community members. With the average household consisting of 5.2 people, ICM’s disaster preparedness training for pastors has impacted the lives of 565,541 people, who will be better prepared to face the next disaster to hit the Philippines.

by Jojo Lacanilao, Chief Engagement Officer, ICM

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