In a time of climate change, unexpected calamities and disasters remain prevalent. And Nicole Carmen Dueñas, Vice President for Advocacy of the Habitat for Humanity Blue Chapter, knew that risk mitigation would come from prevention and preparation.

As long-time volunteers in Bistekville 4 community in Quezon City, the Ateneo Blue Chapter laid the foundation of many houses in the community, giving them the opportunity to interact with the partner families. Their commitment was more than just building roofs and walls. When the opportunity arose to further support these families, the Blue Chapter used the Advocacy Grant awarded by Habitat International to sit down with the community leaders and help them develop a plan that can reduce its vulnerability to risks and hazards such as fire destruction.

Through historical assessment, the Blue Chapter, led by Dueñas, learned that the community suffered from the effects of a large fire breakout years ago. To prevent this same from happening again, the group, with the help of the community leaders, gathered stakeholders from the local government unit, Bureau of Fire Protection, and the local youth group ALAB to devise a fire prevention project that would best support Bistek 4.

A group of 50 homeowners completed an intensive seminar on fire safety, including a fire drill and demonstration. The community also received 16 fire extinguishers, eight sets of fire prevention informational posters, and 8 first aid distributed to each row of homes.