Mina was married at the age of 15. Now, at 32, her and her husband have a daughter and two sons. She was from a poor farming family. She tells us her story. “I started a ‘Chatpat’ (a quick sour, chilly snack) selling business with an investment of about Rs. 2,000 (US$17) as that’s all my family could afford. I was able to earn around Rs. 1,000 (US$8) daily and although this was not much, it boosted my confidence. That was 6 years ago. I wanted to grow my business but I wasn’t able to get a loan.”
“A year ago, I learned about the My Business My Freedom (MBMF) program through the visit of Laxmi (MBMF Project Manager). She explained that there was an opportunity for me to grow my business with a microloan through this project and the interest rate was low. I joined a group of 10 other women like me. After some training and mentoring, I was given my first loan of Rs. 30,000 (US$260) to expand my business. My income has doubled since then. I have even begun to save little by little for my children’s future. My daily income is now about Rs. 2,000 (US$17). My daughter also helps me in the business. I am now confident that I will be able to send my children to school and complete their education and I am able to manage household expenses better than before. The lessons taught to me by Laxmi has been very helpful to manage personal financial needs too.”
“The My Business My Freedom project has changed my life and I feel motivated when Laxmi comes to us and encourages us. I will continue in this business and grow it for many years to come.”
The My Business My Freedom project gives women who are stuck in the cycle of poverty, the opportunity to become self-sustainable. This is an important part of helping reduce the risk of her and her children falling prey to trafficking.
Dil lives with her daughter in a rural area 25 kilometers away from the city. They live in two rented rooms with a roof made up of zinc sheets. She works as a farm laborer to provide for her and her daughter.
Many Filipino families continue to suffer from the harsh consequences of prolonged lockdown in the country. Sadly, many of these parents are pushed to their limits and resort to exploitation (of their own children) as a means to earn a living.
Womokyid, 29, lives in the province with her family and aging parents. When she was younger, her father had an accident at work leaving him unable to work. Because of this, Womokyid had to stop school so she can help her mother take care of her father and earn income for their family. Now that she has a family of her own, her desire is to start a small restaurant of her own so can take care of her family while also earning a stable income.
Fujie, 44, is a single mother. She raised her son alone after her husband has left home many years ago. Her biggest regret was not being able to send her son to school to complete his studies. She hopes to be of help in any way she can.
Quijangtso first applied in the Husky Energy Tailoring Skills Program for Women in 2019 with the recommendation of the project coordinator and teachers. Faced with a lot of challenges, Quijangtso did not back down and continued to persevere.