This is Lorena, 43, a resident of Silang, Cavite, Philippines. She is married to Arnulfo, a baker, and is the mother of their 4 children. She, together with her husband and children, manages the household while operating the business. She is continually working hard to provide income for their everyday expenses and her children’s studies. This is a dream for most poor Filipino parents, like Lorena, as she herself has been an undergraduate and believes that a college diploma is the best inheritance parents can leave their children.
Lorena operates a variety store. In the Philippines a variety store is basically a small convenience store which retails groceries, toiletries and beverages, piecemeal to locals. It is the place to go to buy one sachet of shampoo, a Php5-worth of cooking oil, or an egg. Lorena earns income by getting supplies at wholesale prices and selling by the piece. Aside from the variety store, she has a bakeshop where she sells different kinds of bread and pastries. Her store is located adjacent to her house. Her regular customers are her neighbors and the local community. She earns a minimum of Php 605 in sales every day.
To help her to continue business operations, she is requesting a Php 10,000 loan. She will be utilizing the loan to buy groceries, toiletries and beverages to expand her product inventory. She’ll also invest a portion of the loan to buy ingredients to be used in the bakeshop. She expects a boost in her business income as she expands her business.
Lorena hopes to be able to expand soon. She faithfully meets up with her co-fellowship* members to share stories of her work every week and to also draw strength and inspiration from the Word of God she studies.
* All CCT community partners / clients are organized into fellowship groups that meet on a weekly basis. A fellowship group is composed of 15 to 30 community partners. The fellowship groups gather each week to study the Word of God, build social capital, and repay Micro Finance loans.
About the Center for Community Transformation
The Center for Community Transformation (CCT) is dedicated to the development of communities and lives via spiritual transformation and access to financial services. CCT offers loan products to address the needs of micro-entrepreneurs in the Philippines. The organization’s loan products include small business, education, and housing loans. CCT utilizes a community-based approach to provide a variety of non-financial services that include training and development programs, clinics, disaster relief operations, a low-cost medicine program, and social service programs. CCT offers a unique “Pavement Dweller” program designed to provide food, housing, and job training. CCT also provides education support services to the poorest groups in the Philippines. Find more information about CCT on their website or join their lending team.