Every team needs its own sense of purpose. As for Radiance Savings Group from Lemery, Iloilo, its purpose is to provide a business that is beneficial and can minister to its members, to the people in the community, and to the ultrapoor all over the town of Lemery.
Radiance Savings Group was established in 2014 during the Transform program led by Pastora Rachelle. “It is a great opportunity to hold a Transform program here in our community. With this, we can reach the ultrapoor and life them out of poverty,” said Pastora Rachelle. To add to their savings fund, they started a group business making and selling dishwashing liquid and detergent powder, skills that were taught by ICM through Transform.
Throughout the years, Radiance Savings Group observed the needs of the community. They started to recruit members who were willing to take risks with them. They purposely recruited men because they needed manpower in their new project, Padyak Productions, which is to be an auto shop that makes sidecars for motorcycles.
With 53 members, they submitted their application to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) concerning their Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) for a grant to start a business.
While waiting for the approval, Pastora Rachelle and her husband Pastor Giltadeo, the chairman of the group, continued meeting with the group once a month to encourage the members. They also discussed the possibilities of their proposed project, set ground rules and established clear expectations for all the group members.
After a year of patiently waiting, the group claimed the check from the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) last April amounting to PHP400,000 (US$7,307) for their business.
The members were delighted to receive the grant and were excited to start their new business. “Joining the ICM savings group gave me a way to do something worthwhile and fun,” said Arnolfo, one of the recruited members.
As of now, the group runs a store and is still doing their original business. On top of that, their auto shop will begin operating this year.
Indeed their name “Radiance Saving Group” brings hope to the ultrapoor; with patience and strong will, the group’s purpose is being lived out with phenomenal results!
-Written by Jarra Pinuela