People’s lives do not come to an end because of disabilities.
This is what Joel Sicot, a member of Persons with Disability (PWD) community, would like to emphasized to all other members of the community who are experiencing difficulty in adapting to the society.
Sicot, now 40 years old and a resident of Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay got electrocuted when he was 22 years old then while working as a boy helper in their municipality that led to his permanent disability. However, after the incident, even he needed adjustments he shifted his focus in serving the church and went to bible school.
“I am still thankful to God, despite what happened to me I am still alive and God gives me hope to live my life,” he said.
Due to his disability, he also was not able to sustain his financial needs to finish his studies, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development-9 (DSWD) Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC), which provides training courses and livelihood programs to PWD community.
The AVRC is a non-residential care facility that offers vocational rehabilitation services and programs for PWDs for eight hours every weekday. The Center was founded to offer programs and services for social and vocational rehabilitation using a center-based approach to rehabilitation.
The vocational training for PWDs last for a year, and they receive financial help (in the form of a gratuity) for their food and transportation needs. Various vocational training programs are provided based on the skills required and the employment prospects that can be found through work placement. The center aims to provide livelihood and employment opportunities after their training.
Sicot willingly travelled from Zamboanga Sibugay Province to Zamboanga City to attend the trainings. He was happy that he discovered the AVRC "because I found out that they have courses that fit for my skills and to improve it”.
The story of Sicot is just an example of how everyone can still do the things they want to do with perseverance and goal, and encouraged “all persons with disability like me, do not lose hope, disabled or not we are still the same, you just need to have determination and courage”. (RVC/EDT/MLE/OOJ/PIA9-Zamboanga City)