HUMANISM-The real empowerment

Posted by Hapi Editor | Posted on February 28, 2017

“Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance that affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. Humanism stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. Humanism is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.”
The International Humanist and Ethical Union

 

Surigao city’s preemptive evacuation in preparation for typhoon Basyang. Dec. 07, 2014

For the last 5 years, I have been going around different Barangays, schools, offices and various sectors, to give lectures on Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction, the underlying message in which is, as stakeholders, we all need to be prepared so as not to be heavily dependent on Government all the time. The policy of empowerment, is enshrined in RA10121 also known as the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, giving Local Government Units up to “Purok“, or Barangay Zone, level, as they are more familiar with the Disaster/Hazard Risks in their respective areas, the power to decide, for themselves, on what and how to make their communities less vulnerable and more disaster resilient. This includes, even the most basic decision on whether or not to send their children to schools during bad weather, in the absence of a Department of Education (DepEd) or the Philippine  Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) advisory. This paradigm shift is based on several basic data which show that a community is more disaster resilient and hence, more sustainably progressive, when stakeholders are empowered to participate in the planning and decision making for risk reduction.

Mangrove planting during the 22nd World Youth Congress held in Surigao city. March 2015

My lecture is just but one of the policies the government has implemented in an effort to make local communities disaster resilient, But definitely the most important as knowledge is the foundation when it comes to empowering Stakeholders. I have since come to realize that I am more effective when I’m using the Humanist approach to empowerment. Humanism is natural and appeals to our sense of duty to put human lives above all else and to harness the power within us in the performance of that duty.

From the very beginning, our culture and religious beliefs have been obstacles to making communities resilient. We are faced with the challenge of how to teach people the basic disaster preparedness and basic survival techniques when the local populace have been conditioned by religion, to pray and leave everything to God, when disaster strikes and to accept whatever the result as the will of a god. This is when Humanism becomes an effective tool, since it affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives, and that includes protecting it.

The way to counter old beliefs is to appeal to a language its followers understand. To appeal to that same belief that they hold and to use it to make them realize that they have been given skills and abilities by their creator, eyes to see, hands to work and brains to think for themselves. That it is their responsibility to use and utilize these gifts of life to the fullest, for if life is a gift from God, then all the reason to protect it.

Fire drill by CAAP

Lastly, the democratic stance of Humanism, is in perfect consonance with the objective of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management’s policy of making it everyone’s duty, especially in giving them the responsibility to decide for themselves and in treating everyone as stakeholder. With this it is then easier to teach every stakeholder in the community the necessary knowledge, skill and confidence. More importantly, it allows us to reach the more vulnerable ones – the poor, women and children, and senior citizens, making them less vulnerable and more resilient. This way, it is then easier to implement development projects like poverty alleviation, education, health etc.

The dissemination of needed information and knowledge is true empowerment that gives people more confidence and the capability to take responsibility in shaping their lives and their future, which is what Humanism is all about.

 

 

 

Nards Go is the HAPI – Surigao Lead Convener. He is with the City Disaster Management Office and part of the city’s incident management team. He loves to travel the road not taken and believes that dedication and perseverance, not faith, can move mountains

Other good reads...

HADUAN AETA READING ROOM – 5 years of Dreaming and a few more days of Reality

The program of early interactive education was in existence before the mini- library was conceptualized. The idea took root when about 5 years ago while reading “RED CROSS LAGING HANDA MANUAL”  a child asked me what does a library look like. I have enthralled them about stories and introduced them the concept of a library […]

Time to be humane: Series 2 : The Green Revolution

  Time to be humane 1st : series 2 : the green revolution What is green? Is it just a color? A mindset? How does it correlate to the environment? So what is green governance? is it the environmentalist governing? How about environmentalist? Is it a person that pushes for environmental laws?  So many green […]

Members’ Feedback About The HAPI Book: “From Superstition to Reason”

Humanist Alliance of the Philippines, International has published the first-ever HAPI book titled: From Superstition to Reason. The HAPI book contains trials and challenges of people in their journey to Humanism. The book also showcases different types of Humanism and Atheism. Take a look at the various feedback below. HAPI Book Review from Rafael Azanza Rafael […]

Another Wave for One Baybay at a Time

      Once again, the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International Junior (HAPI Junior) with the partnership of Brgy. Singcang Airport Sangguniang Kabataan conducted the 4th wave of “One Baybay At A Time”, a coastal clean-up with an environmental talk, last Febuary 2, 2019 at Brgy. Singcang Airport, Magsungay. Even with technical challenges, the Juniors was […]

AHA surprise and books (HAPI- USA)

Ms M representing HAPI at AHA con 75th Anniversary, sporting the HAPI pin and AHA pin May 29, 2016, Chicago, IL – The American Humanist Association celebrated its 75th anniversary in Hyatt Regency hotel at McCormick Place on May 25-30, 2016. Our very own Founding Chairperson represented HAPI in Chicago, IL for the American Humanist […]

HAPI Trees year 2: Nationwide tree planting project

  https://www.facebook.com/events/1558470964460738/   Empowering People to Unite with Nature. If we only give much more than what we take, I believe that this world will be a better place. Last year HAPI had arranged an ambitious project called the HAPI Trees and we were able to plant thousands of trees from the limited hands and […]

Un Mensaje a mis Amigos Costarricenses

Esta próxima elección presenta a un candidato que está despertando a gran parte de la población, en una dirección que parece ser “justa” y que sigue “las leyes de Dios”. El tema de la corrupción política, cuando se observa desde una perspectiva histórica, se convierte en un punto discutible en contraste con las implicaciones del […]

Scroll to Top