Lisa, 29, lives with her partner and four young children in a small house built of scrap metal and wood with no electricity or toilet.
Growing up, Lisa’s mother had five husbands and a gambling addiction. At 12 years of age, Lisa left home for Manila to work as a housemaid. At 13-years-old she fell pregnant with her first child and, after five unhappy years with the child’s father, Lisa ended the relationship.
Back in Cebu, Lisa met Jake, who she has been living with for the past 11 years. Her experience of growing up in an uncertain atmosphere has made her determined to provide a stable environment for her children.
Through participating in ICM’s Transform program, Lisa learned valuable business skills—such as how to make and sell puto cheese (steamed rice cakes) and salted eggs, which she can sell at market and to others in her neighborhood. She also obtained basic hygiene and sanitation knowledge, which has improved her family’s lives. She also learned strong values that reinforced her relationships with her family and neighbors. Through these weekly lessons, her faith, love and resolve to stay with her husband grew. Lisa has found the strength to do what her mother could not – stay with her family.
By Kim Thomson, ICM volunteer