Bringing up her four grandchildren with no money to provide for them has been enormously challenging for Teresita. Before undergoing ICM’s Transform program, Teresita felt powerless to change her circumstances and unable to move forward.
Teresita’s son was imprisoned for being suspected of theft, leaving Teresita with the job of raising not only his children, but a considerable sum to set him free from prison. Teresita used her savings for this emergency. Her son was free, but she had nothing to her name, and still had his four children to raise. It was at this time that Teresita was invited to participate in ICM’s program by the community pastor who saw the challenges the grandmother was facing. Wanting support and the opportunity to learn how to make more money, Teresita agreed to join the four-month Transform class.
During the lessons on values, Teresita found strength in God through prayer and was able to share what she had learnt with her son. She managed to convince him to stay at home instead of going over to a friend’s place to party and actively encouraged him to change his ways and spend time with his family.
Business-in-a-Box training has brought about change for Teresita as she has learnt how to make banana chips, dishwasher liquid and how to plant a garden. She’s been able to sell these goods in addition to the other snacks she was selling prior to the program. Her weekly income has increased by approximately PHP2,350 (US$50), allowing her to spend on needed food and medicine, and to put aside money for emergencies. Finally, she is able to start saving to repair the floor of her house as well.
Another benefit of Transform has been learning how to use herbs for medicine. When another of Teresita’s sons became sick, she poured out the sap of oregano on his head, covering him with a blanket to induce sweating. After two days he was restored to full health, without having to visit a doctor and take expensive medications. Teresita also makes sure that her grandchildren use their tippy tap to wash their hands and to brush their teeth every day so they are better protected from sickness.
Teresita’s family and neighbors have been impressed by her ability to persevere and her new sense of calm and gentleness in facing life’s daily challenges.
ICM’s Transform program is a 16-week learning experience that expands the capabilities that the ultrapoor need to flourish. Weekly, ICM Health and Livelihood trainers join the community pastor and teach ICM’s interactive Values, Health and Livelihood curriculum.
By Georgina Sage, ICM Intern