PRRM, together with the representative of the Department of Education, handed over livelihood start-up funds to the Carolotan Women Sector Society for Development, Inc. (CWSSD) in Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya, last 25 November. The PhP75,000 livelihood fund was part of the community grant fund entrusted to PRRM through the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Micro-Lending (IP-SMILE) Project of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Philippine Response to Indigenous Peoples and Muslim Education (PRIME) of the Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Nueva Vizcaya.
The IP-SMILE Project aims to establish a micro-lending venture among the Kalanguya IP partners to help improve their livelihoods. The fund shall be managed by CWSSD to finance the micro-enterprises of eligible members through the small lending approach.
Through this micro-enterprise development support fund, recipient households are expected to generate additional income that will support the educational fund requirements of their children attending grade school. Barangay Carolotan is one of the poor communities in Nueva Vizcaya province where low school participation rate has been recorded.
The hand-over ceremony was graced by PRRM President, Isagani Serrano; PRRM Vice President and Field Operations Director, Marlon Palomo; In-Charge of Dupax del Sur District of DepED, Mrs. Singasing Valdez; the Municipal Chief Executive of Dupax del Sur represented by Mrs. Monica Tactacan, HRM Officer; and Hon. Mario Cayat, Punong Barangay of Carolotan. Mrs. Marilyn Piday, CWSSD President, received the livelihood fund in behalf of the members. A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was forged thereafter between PRRM and the CWSSD and was witnessed by the representatives of the Dupax del Sur LGU, Carolotan LGU and DepED.
Messages of inspiration were delivered by the distinguished guests encouraging the recipient partners to take care of the fund and make it grow bigger to benefit the members and ultimately to achieve the project mission, of increasing school participation rate and attaining quality education for all children in the community. The DepEd plans to release an additional grant fund for the IP SMILE Project in the ensuing months to increase the number of recipient households and achieve greater impact.
March 8, 2014, Cocoon Boutique Hotel
Quezon City, Philippines