FOR a former rebel, returning to the mainstream life is hard, with some community not so accepting, and life as well as livelihood still at risk.

As a way to assist the government in the reintegration of former rebels, the Rotaract Club of Carmen Valley responded to the call of Army’s 58th Infantry Dimalulupig Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division.

Ladylene Almanzor, President of RAC-Carmen Valley said the club could not pass up the opportunity to help the former rebels who deserve another chance at life.

“We are humans first, and we feel for each other. The Rotaract Club of Carmen Valley is a Rotary in Action emphasizing that the foundation of leadership is not power over authority, but service,” President Almanzor said.

In their letter, Lieutenant Colonel Ricky Canatoy, 58IB commanding officer, said the Rug Making Production is an initiative of their unit under the Development and Security Support Plan dubbed as “Pagkab-ot MisOr.”

He said the rug making production began early this year and the former women rebels have earned money from the rugs.

With this, the RAC-Carmen Valley launched Operation Rugalo with the 58IB in Claveria, Misaims Oriental where they turned over used clothes as raw materials in the rug making livelihood project.

However, President Almanzor said Rotaract will not only distribute used clothes, but will also help in selling the finished products.

“We want to make sure that our assistance is sustainable and that for that we don’t want to stop only in the distribution of used clothes, we want to help them sell it,” she said.

During the turnover ceremony, the former rebels also listened to a Financial Literacy Lecture by Ms. Jovelyn Comonsad. She highlighted the importance in the proper handling and managing of finances.

For President Almanzor, this is not the end of the partnership between the army and Rotaract, but the beginning of their peace and development efforts. (Contributed story/Alvin Lagumbay)