The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) Culture and Heritage Unit, through Gabii sa Kabilin, organized a virtual First Aid for Heritage Training last February 9 to help local museums and heritage sites boost their disaster resilience and recovery efforts after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.
It was organized to equip Cebu-based museum and heritage workers with know-how in protecting their cultural structures, artifacts and collections, and in best responding to calamities and disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, and fires.
The training was conducted by the head of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for the Heritage of the Church, Fr. Brian Brigoli, and heritage architect, Melva R. Java.
Fr. Brigoli, who serves as the curator of the Archdiocesan Museum of Cebu, gave tips on how to create an effective emergency plan. He also shared best practices in protecting and securing museum premises, collections, employees and visitors from risks such as fire, typhoons, theft and violence.
Java, on the other hand, focused on the process of restoring heritage structures and steps in conducting post-disaster assessment. She also shared approaches and lessons learned from their rapid assessment of heritage structures after the Bohol earthquake in 2013.
“We understand the important role that culture and heritage play in creating a sense of individual and collective identity… It is our role and responsibility to be equipped and to protect [our structures, artifacts and traditions] and to advocate widely and wildly for their protection,” said RAFI President and CEO Amaya Aboitiz-Fansler.
Aside from the First Aid for Heritage Training, RAFI has been conducting various relief and rehabilitation efforts after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette including distribution of emergency relief packs and shelter kits across the Visayas, and providing psychosocial support for children, youth, adults and frontliners in Southern Cebu.
For more information on the initiatives and programs of RAFI’s Culture and Heritage Unit, follow @gabiisakabilincebu and @casagorordomuseum on Facebook. For updates on the foundation’s disaster response, visit https://rafi.org.ph/rafiresponse. (PR)