RCE Cebu - 2019

UC Sapnay Center: A Program on Disaster Response to Affected Communities
Basic Information
Title of project : 
UC Sapnay Center: A Program on Disaster Response to Affected Communities
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Cebu
Contributing organization(s) : 
University of Cebu
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Khalachuchi S. Flores-Caballes
Organizational Affiliation: 
University of Cebu
Date of submission:
Friday, March 22, 2019
Geographical & Education Information
Cebu Province
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Cebu City , Philippines
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The Province of Cebu is the second largest metropolitan in the Philippines making it the main center of trade and commerce, industry and education in the Visayas. Its central location and proximity to tourist destinations in the country has contributed to the growth of tourism industry. Cebu is also home to beautiful beaches and rich fishing ground in the country It is sad to note that the forest cover in the province is diminishing. Mining and quarrying businesses also operate in the area.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The Philippines’ apparent risk to natural disaster is due to its location. The country lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire, thus it is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The large bodies of water surrounding the country bring a number of typhoons every year. Deforestation also contributes to the countless landslides and floods. The influx of migrants to the Province of Cebu also contributes to the growing number of poor households in urban areas.

December, 2018
In line with the University’s vision of giving hope and transforming lives and mission of pursuing excellence in community service towards social and economic development, the University of Cebu (UC) Sapnay Center (A Disaster/Calamity Response to Affected Communities Program) is organized. The University President called for the creation of a disaster/calamity response team to be spearheaded by university student leaders and volunteers under the guidance of the Social Work Department. Sapnay is a Cebuano term that means to carry something laid across one’s arms.

Disaster/calamity usually results in casualty, injury, destruction of property, damaged infrastructures and loss of livelihood. It produces multiple stressors that can cause psychological distress. People experiencing disaster/calamity are highly prone to unscrupulous individuals or groups who may exploit their situations. A quick response to disaster/calamity could save people’s lives, as well as their dignity.

School administration and student groups can play an important role in disaster/calamity response. Community service may develop student’s moral and ethical responsibility, training them to become better citizens.
The major goals of this program are to provide a quick response to disaster/calamity and to render services to people experiencing disaster/calamity. The objectives are:
1. to provide basic necessities like food, water and clothing;
2. to provide psychosocial and legal services;
3. to promote community resiliency; and
4. to conduct disaster-related researches as basis for future development plans.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The UC Sapnay Center provides the following services:
•Relief goods such as water, canned goods, old clothes, toiletries, rice, hygiene kits, school supplies and mats to the affected communities;
•Psychosocial sessions with women and children such as art and play sessions, storytelling that promotes environmental protection, psychological first aid and Community Resiliency Model (CRM) Skills sessions;
•Community Awareness Sessions on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, Reactions to Tragic Events and Symptoms of Traumatic Stress;
•Legal Counseling; and;
•Research projects related to disaster risk and reduction management and school-based calamity response program.

Size of academic audience: 
The program reaches out to families, women and children who are victims of disaster or calamity within the Province of Cebu.
The local government units (LGUs) and communities are appreciative of the UC Sapnay's psychosocial services and community awareness sessions for women and children, since most of the assistance provided are focused on the provision of basic needs, shelter and rehabilitation of infrastructure units.
Lessons learned: 
1. The student volunteer program strengthens the commitment to serve the less privileged and promotes the spirit of cooperation.
2. Community resiliency alleviates the sufferings experienced from disaster/calamity.
3. The mental health and wellness of the victims shall be given consideration especially for women and children in times of disaster/calamity.
3. In providing assistance, the service provider (esp from private groups or individuals) should consider the felt need of the victims rather than duplicating what has been sufficiently provided by the city/ municipal government and other concerned groups.
4. Poverty drives the victims to go back to the affected areas and rebuild their houses despite the location's susceptibility to disaster/calamity.
Key messages: 
Disaster/calamity response is not the sole responsibility of the government. Schools/universities play an important role in addressing the impact of disaster/calamity. The Student volunteers program is a good venue in molding compassionate young individuals to address the negative impacts of climate change and disaster/calamity.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The Social Work Department of UC is an active member of Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) Cebu. The Department takes charge of the disaster/calamity response and assistance program of RCE Cebu.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon 45.JPG (3.51 MB) Distribution of Relief Goods UC Sapnay
Image icon 52.JPG (2.26 MB) Psychosocial Sessions UC Sapnay
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level