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David Gazashvili (pictured on left) is Country Director for CARE Philippines. We spoke to him at the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia about winning a World Habitat Award with the project Post-Haiyan Self-Recovery Housing Programme.

How would you describe Post-Haiyan Self-Recovery Housing Programme in a few words?

It provides options to people for self-help after disasters in the Philippines, giving them the opportunity to contribute to their own development, and empowering them to make their own decisions.

What motivates you in your role?

I am happy that I was able to contribute to this interesting programme, and to many other exciting and innovative initiatives undertaken by CARE and its partners in the Philippines.  I am motivated by working with committed and hardworking people from communities, partner organisations and CARE staff.

What is the single most important part of winning the World Habitat Awards?

This is a recognition of our joint contribution to the recovery of families affected by the devastating typhoon Haiyan.  We are excited that the self-help approach that we promoted proved to be successful and sustainable, and we are happy that the learning from this approach is shared and acknowledged.

Why do you think you won?

A number of factors, including a very close engagement and participation of the communities, local civil society organisations and local governments. In addition, this approach is empowering communities and individuals to make decisions about their lives. It is a selection of a proper package of assistance: training, technical knowledge, some shelter materials, cash and community organisation to ensure application of building back safer technology and ensuring that the most vulnerable families received assistance first.

Tell us about your experience collecting your Award at the World Urban Forum.

It’s a very exciting experience to receive this Award, to get to know other people and share our information and learn about the other projects as well.

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