A mother’s sustainable future

Erlinda was left to raise her two children on her own when her husband died more than 10 years ago. They barely survived by reselling dried fish and other goods and snacks from their town market to their community. “I always ran out of budget for capital, and even a single peso was hard to find,” she shared. Erlinda was not able to sustain the business. She was anxious about their future, losing shreds of hope with each passing day.

Joining Transform, Erlinda discovered they could have a sustainable future. “Pastor Henry invited me to join the Transform program. I was interested when he mentioned ‘livelihood.’ I was excited for the opportunity, knowing it includes livelihood lessons!” Erlinda exclaimed. Despite the challenges of getting to the training venue, Erlinda persevered. She went through mountainous terrains and muddy roads on a motorbike and sometimes had to walk when her brother could not drive her.
Through the four-month program, Erlinda built new friendships and gained livelihood skills. Grateful for the opportunity that came her way, she said, “Transform is such a blessing to me. I learned to cook and sell snacks, and I got to earn money daily. I am excited to cook banana cakes, especially when I receive compliments from my customers.”
Erlinda making banana cake

Even her neighbors witnessed how her life changed—seeing that she was able to start a business! “I display the banana cakes and fish balls I make in front of my house. The snacks easily sell out since our house is near a school. Some students and teachers come by our house to buy the snacks,” Erlinda added.

Erlinda cooking banana cakes in an improvised oven
Erlinda showing the kitchen tools she bought from her income

With her income, Erlinda plans to upgrade her cookware so she can make more snacks and expand her business. She feels proud and empowered as an entrepreneur! But more than that, Erlinda feels fulfilled as a mother, confident that she can provide for her children and give them a better future.

Erlinda with the banana cakes she cooked

“Transform helped me become resilient even when threatened by life’s challenges. We can survive because of the skills I gained—cooking snacks to sell and for consumption. I also learned so much from the health training, especially about keeping ourselves and family healthy.” – Erlinda

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