Lorna, or Lhor to her friends, is 48 and has been in the rice-distribution business for six years. She lives, together with her family, a couple of blocks away from the city's garbage dump area, popularly known as Payatas. Under and around the foot of the gigantic mountain of garbage live Philippines' poorest urban residents, the scavengers. Lorna has four kids, two of whom are in college. Her eldest already graduated from college, all thanks to her rice business.
Lhor owns one of the only three government rice-distribution stores in Payatas. She regularly receives two rice deliveries per week. Each delivery gives her 20 sacks (50 kilos each) of government rice, which she pays for upon delivery. She then repacks the rice and sells it to the community for PHP18.00 per kilo, half the price of other commercial rice. The delivery, repacking and selling all lasts but a day after delivery. The business earns an income of PHP20,000.00 per month.
Lhor considers the business not only as a blessing to her family, but most importantly to her community. More than 300 residents, some of them scavengers from around Payatas, line up every week to get their weekly ration of rice. The line can go as far as 100 meters from the front of Lhor's store. She says she wants to upgrade her order of 40 sacks a week to 70, because more and more families are not able to buy their ration because Lhor's supply runs out every time for them. Dealers like Lorna are chosen by the Social Welfare Department as authorized distributors to poor communities.
Lhor has never missed a savings or loan payment for all her six years of borrowing. Her previous loan was for PHP30,000. She is now borrowing her 13th loan from the Center for Community Transformation (CCT).
CCT is a Filipino family-oriented and Bible-centered development organization that provides and creates equal business opportunities for small-scale Filipino entrepreneurs through loans and social interventions.
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.