Enhancing lives with local value chain development: World Vision and Citi Foundation join hands to train community partners
In photo (L-R) World Vision’s Associate Director for Luzon Annie Ronquillo, Director for Resource Development Jun Godornes, and National Director Rommel Fuerte, with Citi Philippines Director for Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship Aneth Lim, and Corporate Citizenship Officer Jacqueline Ampil.
From farmers, to sari-sari store owners, to street vendors, World Vision engaged individuals and families over the last 10 months, introducing the concepts of local value chain and teaching business planning to help them increase their income. Dubbed “Aiding Vulnerable Families Through Value Chain Development,” the program was funded by Citi Foundation and aimed to provide vulnerable families with capacity building trainings, access to savings and credit facilities, and technical assistance to improve the profitability and sustainability of their income generating activities.
The program was launched in November in Baseco, Manila, and since then, over 300 beneficiaries from six target communities, namely, Isabela, Malabon, Manila (Baseco), Palawan, Cavite, and Batangas, have undergone trainings and workshops on Local Value Chain Development (LVCD), market and financial literacy, product development, and business planning. This resulted in the development of seventeen (17) business plans.
Citi Philippines Director for Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship Aneth Lim led the culminating activity to celebrate the program’s success last August 1 at Brentwood Suites in Quezon City. The event, attended by participants from all six Area Programs, was highlighted by the trainees’ progress and testimonies, as well showcasing their wide range of local products like bags, woven hats, notebooks made from water-lily, food produce such as lumpia and malunggay, and different kinds of dishwashing liquids.
Honorata Casabuena, chairperson of the farmers’ group in Batangas was among those who gave positive testimonials and thanks to partners World Vision and Citi Foundation. “We used to just plant and plant without thinking to whom are we going to sell our produce. The project makes us understand that proper business planning is essential so as not to waste our products.” Dialogues and meetings with business entities, service providers, and local government agencies were facilitated to explore possible collaboration and market opportunities in connection with the focused value chains and livelihood projects in the communities, which include bag and water-lily products making, dishwashing liquid production, vegetable and ginger production, rice trading, hog raising, and processed food and fresh meat vending.
In her inspirational speech, Lim thanked Honorata and all the community partners in the room who showed their strong commitment to improving their lives and that of their families. “It’s heartwarming to see the fruits of all your hard work showcased today. When we were designing this program and discussing our partnership with World Vision, we both agreed that there is no shortage of community partners who would want to improve their micro businesses or cooperatives. The challenge was to craft a responsive program that will help you overcome market barriers and at the same time establish market linkages that are right for each of you. I pray that the successes we are seeing now will continue, and more importantly that you will share your newfound knowledge to the rest of your communities so they too can reap the rewards.”
World Vision Development Specialist for Luzon Cesar Bautista welcomed the participants who came from the six target communities of Isabela, Malabon, Manila (Baseco), Palawan, Cavite, and Batangas.
“I have seen how you’ve spent time analyzing and determining possible markets for your products,” says World Vision Economic Development Specialist for Luzon Cesar Bautista as he addressed the participants. “There is no shortcut in putting up a business, all successful businesses undergo careful study and analysis. This partnership between Citi Foundation and World Vision provided you the opportunity to learn how big businesses do things so that one day you too will become successful.”
Participants from Batangas Area Program showcase their malunggay and lumpia produce.
To help the beneficiaries handle their money wisely, Community Managed Savings and Credit Association (CoMSCA) groups were also formed. CoMSCA is a savings and lending system that allows its members to save and multiply their finances by regularly buying shares and borrowing money. Thirteen CoMSCA groups with 300 members were organized through the project, which had a total savings of Php 964,650 as of July 1, 2017. In addition, 90 beneficiaries completed the CoMSCA Trainer’s Training last January and February 2017 and have since become certified agents, allowing them to give orientations and form new groups outside of their respective barangays.
World Vision National Director Rommel Fuerte, expressed his satisfaction over the project and the accomplishments of the beneficiaries. “I feel proud and happy to hear all the good testimonies from families who became part of this project. World Vision is merely an avenue for all of us to learn and inspire one another. We are grateful to Citi Foundation and this project that aspires to empower parents and provide them alternative livelihood so that each family can provide the basic needs of their children. I hope this project was able to encourage and empower you to do so.”—World Vision/August 30, 2017