From July 17 to July 21, 2012, Cebu will be celebrating the 34th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week. The celebration is organized by the Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme, Inc. (GVSP) in partnership with the Accessible Environments for PWDS (ACCEPT), the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)-Bahaginan, The Asia Foundation, the Australian Agency for International Development , the Cebu City government, and the Cebu Provincial government.
This year’s theme for the 34th NDPR Week is “Mainstreaming Persons with Disability in Economic Development” (“Paglakip sa PWDs Ngadto sa Pag-uswag sa Ekonomiya”).
The week-long activity will showcase the importance of PWD inclusion in the development and progress of the country today.
Among the highlights of the NDPR week is the launching of the Fully Abled Nation photo exhibit, which will showcase the PWD champions and the ongoing movement for the empowerment of PWDs. Fully Abled Nation is a three-year program implemented by The Asia Foundation in cooperation with AusAID. It aims to increase PWD participation in the 2013 Philippine midterm elections.
The Asia Foundation seeks to work with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), disabled peoples organizations (DPOs), and other non-government organizations (NGOs) in order to bring fruition to their efforts, which is to enable PWDs to freely exercise their right to vote. The program aims to convince the COMELEC to increase access of PWDs to registration sites and polling places. It is hoped that the COMELEC will eventually issue a resolution that will provide more accessible venues for PWDs to exercise their rights during the upcoming elections.
Another interesting activity during the NDPR week is the PWD simulation booth where people can experience the different devices, accommodations and methods of communication that the PWDs use. There will also be a booth where basic Braille lessons will be conducted and spearheaded by the Cebu Braille Center. GVSP and the Cebu Association of the Deaf will also conduct a free sign language class and deaf culture awareness. Arnold Balais, a champion PWD triathlete, will educate the attendees on the use of prosthetics and orthotics.
To culminate the NDPR week, a variety show that will be participated by the different schools and organizations of PWDs will be held. A culminating concert entitled “The Fully Abled Nation” will follow. The organizers aim to use the concert as a catalyst for change, encouraging Cebuanos from all walks of life to volunteer and sign-up for the Fully Abled Nation project. A commitment wall will be posted for volunteers to express their commitment to volunteer for the success of this project and in the advocacy for the social inclusion of the Human Rights of persons with disability.
GVSP – Gualandi Mission for the Deaf
The Gualandi Volunteers Service Programme, Inc. (GVSP) – Gualandi Mission for the Deaf was established in April 27, 2005. The group trains and forms volunteers and lay missionaries in order to augment human resource needs for the delivery of services to the Deaf community. Its volunteers provide free interpretation services to the Cebu Association of the Deaf, Inc. It is an independent entity duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and is also a member of Volunteer Organizations, Information Coordination and Exchange Inc. (VOICE Network), and Advocates for Inclusions, Inc. (AFI) formerly known as Organization of Rehabilitation Agencies, Inc. (ORA). Its programs include Volunteer Management System, Resource Mobilization, Deaf Education, and Deaf Human Rights Advocacy.
A fashion show for a cause entitled “Ang Summer ni Juan” on May 12, 2012 was made for the benefit of GVSP. The culminating event of the Limelight Model Management Modeling Workshop was held at the Celebrity Grand Ballroom of Montebello Villa Hotel.
During the 65th founding anniversary of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in July 2012, the PAF arranged carnival-themed children’s day celebrations. With the theme “Handog Saya sa Kabataan, Dulot ay Pag-Asa ng Bayan,” the children’s day carnivals consist of giant inflatable slides and amusement booths. The children’s day event here in Cebu was held last May 10, 2012, at the Brigadier General Benito N. Ebuen Air Base in Mactan. The beneficiaries of the said activity were deaf children from Naga Special Education Center (NSEC), orphans from Christ Faith Childrens Home and military dependents.
This May 2012, GVSP has begun offering basic Filipino Sign Language Summer Classes. They accept walk-in enrollees and Saturday and Sunday classes are open. For those interested in joining these classes, you can call (032)416-7381, (0932)301-5363 or (0917)894-3728 for reservations. To all interested to volunteer for GVSP, you can visit their office at No. 5 Emerald Street of St. Michael Village in Banilad, Cebu City. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Sunday. Bring two pieces of a 2×2 ID picture and photocopies of two valid government-issued IDs or student ID.
For more information regarding GVSP, you can also check out their Facebook account (http://www.facebook.com/GVSPphilippines).