Rowena, herself, has not reached a higher level of education due to poverty and, because of that, offices would not consider employing her over the other college degree holders. She didn’t even have a chance to obtain any loans before ASHI came and so didn’t have the opportunity to venture in a business. With that, she felt how hard life can be at times, especially when she had her own family and children to sustain.
Rowena and her husband, who is a farmer, have been working so hard to earn money to support the needs of their children. They were both very happy when they found out about ASHI. Rowena became a member in 2009 and, from that year, she has able to gain the confidence and determination to grow and sustain their rice and vegetable farming business. From this is anchored the enrichment of her hopes for her children.
Since Rowena and her husband’s farmland is acquired through arriendo, which is a Spanish term commonly used in the province referring to land rental (farmland is rented and the owner is paid with part of the harvest), they both hope to have a larger amount of business capital to be able to gain more.
Also, as much as possible through loans they can borrow through ASHI, they would like to stop using the alili system (a common system farmers use to acquire capital). The alili system is a system whereby farmers obtain money from wealthy people in exchange for part of their harvest. With this system, farmers gain only a very small profit.
Ahon Sa Hirap, Inc. has the distinction of being the oldest existing replication of Grameen methodology for delivering credit to the poor in the Philippines. With more than a third of the nation’s 90 million Filipinos living below the poverty line, ASHI was established with the vision of helping to alleviate poverty in the Philippines. Translated from Tagalog, Ahon Sa Hirap means “to rise above poverty.”
Empowering women dedicated to supporting their families through hard work and dedication, ASHI lends 100% to women and specifically the bottom 50%, so the “poorest of the poor.” In addition to general business loans, ASHI also offers educational loans, house repair loans, savings funds, and social development programs for its members. ASHI is committed to translating its social mission into practice.
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