Living on less than US$0.50 per day means each day is a struggle to meet even the most basic needs.

Transform is ICM’s core strategic program, designed to address the wide range of needs faced by families living in ultrapoverty. Transform starts by creating supportive environments for hope to grow, then invests in building capacity for sustainable progress out of poverty.

Transform: Learning in Community

A local pastor and six volunteers invite 30 of the poorest families in the community to join the weekly Transform training classes. This new network of support and encouragement becomes a safe place for learning to take hold.

Once a week, ICM Trainers show up to teach the multi-faceted course, designed to address common problems faced by poor families. At the end of four months, the whole community enjoys deeper relationships, healthier families, greater productivity and hope for tomorrow.

Transform: Building Capacity for Sustained Progress out of Poverty

What’s in the Transform ‘box’?


Hope is the key: progress out of poverty must start with the belief that change is possible.

The biblical Values lessons taught during Transform foster attitudes and behaviors that result in strong relationships.

Transform strengthens families, builds social networks, and nurtures self-esteem and confidence.


One medical crisis can wipe out any progress made in the fight out of poverty.

Transform’s health curriculum equips mothers to better provide for their children in the areas of hygiene, sanitation, disease prevention and nutrition.

Transform rescues children from malnutrition through feeding and provides medical interventions in emergencies.


The biggest problem facing the poor is a lack of reliable income. Transform helps mothers to better provide for their children by earning more money through small businesses and by saving for their futures.

Parents (and even children) save money in micro-savings groups, building up capital to launch bigger business ideas and to access additional sources of income.


Having had little academic support at home, most children in poverty struggle when it’s time to enter kindergarten. Transform brings education into the home by equipping moms to become their children’s first teachers.

Invested from the very beginning of their child’s learning, parents are motivated to make sure their children succeed and stay in school.

Transform: Two-Generational Approach

We reach children by equipping those they rely on: their mothers. Transform equips mothers with new skills and precious resources to meet today’s needs and seek tomorrow’s opportunities. And it provides kids with nutrition, education, health, hygiene and a safer home.

Our goal is to help those who are at the bottom of the economic ladder reach the first rung. With a focus on health, livelihood, values and education, Transform addresses every area where children living in ultrapoverty are vulnerable.

The path to transformation

Michael lives in ultrapoverty. He misses school once a week because he doesn’t have money for transport, and his house is so far from the school.

He wants to be a policeman, but needs to graduate from high school to achieve his dream.

Michael’s mom, Maria, wants to give Michael a better life than she had as a child. She is desperate to break the cycle of poverty. She works hard, but she doesn’t know how she can provide more for Michael.

Maria joins Transform. She makes new, strong friendships, and starts learning everything from how to make a budget to how to treat Michael’s cough.

Maria starts a business. With a small loan from Transform, her income soon doubles from the cakes she sells. Michael no longer has to miss school.

Maria joins a Savings Group. With her new, trusted friends from Transform, Maria saves a little every week. After four months, her personal savings are US$10 - more money than she has ever had in her life!

Michael saves a little every week too, and is proud to contribute as he learns the value of savings.

Over time, Maria’s Savings Group saves US$1,000 between them, and expands their group business to a cooperative with a small store.

Now Michael, Maria and the whole family have stable income and savings for the future. They’re healthier, have a stronger house, closer relationships and hope for a brighter future!

What Makes Transform Unique?


Our network of partner pastors in thousands of remote communities all over the Philippines provide a uniquely scalable, cost efficient distribution channel for Transform.


ICM combines integrated education, low-capital assets and local partnerships to deliver high impact change in ultrapoor families at very low cost.


Transform trainers grew up in similar situations to those they are teaching. They understand the mindsets of poverty and are proven to be the most effective trainers for our participants.


Four months of intense Transform training launches participants on a trajectory to transformation, sustained with monthly support and accountability groups.

Scalable Partnerships

ICM is able to find and serve ultrapoor families living in hard-to-reach slums, mountain communities and coastal villages across the Philippines. This wide reach is only possible due to scalable partnerships with thousands of community leaders in local churches across the country. Our partnership with pastors form the foundation of ICM’s work and we support these leaders with training and resources.

Transform lives with ICM

Get Involved


If you’re in Hong Kong or the Philippines we have great opportunities for volunteers in our offices. But wherever you are in the world, we would love to hear from you and get you involved.


People from all over the globe make life-changing trips to visit our work in the Philippines. Safe, fun and hands-on for families, corporate CSR groups, friends and church groups.

Be an Ambassador

Around the world, ICM ambassadors advocate for ICM in their workplaces, churches and friendship groups.