/ 21 March 2021

FOR HELPING victims of Taal Volcano, a professor of the University of the Philippines-Open University was conferred the Community Service Award by the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Assistant Professor Finaflor Taylan from the Faculty of Management and Development Studies was recognized for her active and enthusiastic participation in community service or volunteering initiatives.

“After the eruption of the Taal Volcano on 12 January 2020, Prof. Taylan did not hesitate to utilize her experience as a professional social worker. She coordinated with the local authorities in Taal to mobilize people that would together respond to families that were in need of relief services such as food, water, and sanitary needs,” UP-OU said.

“She also assisted the United Nations Population Fund in the conduct of community assessment with gender integration. Similarly, Taylan took part in founding a volunteer group of social workers that gave free remote psychosocial support, psychological first aid, and counseling to the public,” it added.

Taylan gathered information that will enlighten how gender perspectives and women issues can be integrated with disaster response in the Philippines.

“Lockdowns also meant that gender-based violence and child abuse cases were on the rise. Victims of abuse were forced to stay inside with their abusers. With these, Taylan also helped in reporting these cases to the authorities,” UP-OU said.

Taylan assisted a youth organization that advocates for better education, system, social change and mental health.

She also provided technical assistance to various educators, students and education institutions in their transition from face-to-face to online learning.

“Through writing, facilitating, and sharing resource materials, she has truly applied what UP-OU has been pioneering and advocating for decades,” the university said.