When a mother dreams of a bigger future, the child sees what it can become. Just like the story of Nanay Maricrez Casas, who followed the footsteps of her mother’s making of Bukayo, and made it into an opportunity of a lifetime.  

Maricrez Casas, a 31 year old Online Seller focusing on Bukayo making, clothes, meals and other items from Branch Tuburan. When she was 9 years old, she was able to learn about the process of making bukayo from her mother wherein they sold the products in school, and ever since then she has the fascination of selling up until she started last 2009.  

Before starting a business, Nanay Maricrez was having a hard time handling her 5 children, in which she made her hardships into her drive to become a micro-entrepreneur and start elevating their lives. With the feedback coming from her neighbor, she joined RAFI Micro-finance, Inc. with the loan amount of Php 5,000 to jump start her business in the hopes to help her family survive, she started selling assorted items that were trendy and started growing from there. 

While it was going well, she experienced a lot of turbulence along the way. The capital was not adding up to her expenses, profit was low because of the items not selling, a lot of competition along the way, and people asking help financially which made her lose her money along the way.  

Despite everything that has happened, Nanay Maricrez never gave up and started to venture into Bukayo Making. At first everything went well until the pandemic happened and started to slow down her business. She had to stop making bukayo and had no source of income at that time. She was having a hard time selling because of the restrictions.  

With the help of Tindahan ni Nanay, she never expected it to boost her business, “Nakatabang jud mam kay sa TNN ko first nagpost sa akong bukayo, baliwala ra gyud unta to nako nga post kay namasin rako na nay makakita ug mu-click siya sa mga taw, ug wa damha diha na nagsugod ug kadaghan ang orders nako. (It helped me a lot because I posted my bukayo products for the first time in TNN, I was not expecting anything and I was just hopeful that it would click, and with that post I started to gain more orders).”   

With the success she is having now, she stays grounded from where she came from, Nanay Maricrez continues to encourage aspiring micro-entrepreneurs to continue chasing their dreams and be determined and patient enough to keep going, “Padayun lang, ug labing importante nga ubanan ug pag-ampo. Try and try lang gyud, libre ra man ang mangandoy. Dako akong pasalamat sa RMF, dili lang tungod sa loan na akong gi puhunan, kundi pasalamaton sad ko kay ang RMF tinuod gyud na mutabang sa mga nanginahanglan, sa mga pareha nakong kabos lang, sa mga panahon sa katalagman naa dayon ang RMF. Hinaot magpadayon ang pagtabang sa RAFI Micro-finance, Inc. sa mga taw sa lain-laing lugar ug tagaan ug daghang blessings ni God ang RMF ug tanang myembro niini. Dako akong kalipay kay kamo akong naduolan. (Don’t give up and most importantly don’t forget to pray. Don’t be hesitant to try, it’s free to dream and be hopeful. I am thankful for RMF, not only for my loan that I used for my capital, but also for the times they helped those who are in need just like me, and during disasters and emergencies they are there for us. I hope you continue to help other people and receive blessings from God and every member. I am very happy because I came to you)”. 

For many years, Nanay Maricrez continued to develop and mold herself to become a better person and serve her family to live a comfortable life, and she feels contented and happy with her success. 

Better Schools for Better Education: RAFI-EDU Holds SRP Pre-Construction Meeting with School Partners in Balamban, Tuburan, and Ronda

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. – Education Development Unit, held a School Rebuild Program (SRP) pre-construction meeting with representatives from 4 different schools in Balamban, Tuburan, and Ronda last April 15-16, 2021. Among the meeting’s top agenda was in regards with the construction of the 3-storey, 6-classroom buildings to be built in the partner schools. 

RAFI-EDU has taken up the task of supporting the construction needs and requirements of it’s partner schools. There are a total of 4 beneficiary schools namely, Simeon Ripdos Elementary School and Arpili Elementary School in Balamban; the Tuburan Central School over at Tuburan; and lastly; Can-abujon Elementary School in Ronda. 

The meeting was essential in orienting the representatives and all the people involved in the project. During the orientation, the team from RAFI-EDU highlighted the purpose of why they were doing the project in the first place.

The project is a collaborative infrastructure development program that aims to replace old and dilapidated classrooms to provide a safe and conducive learning environment for the public school students. 

Last month’s meeting also walked the representatives through the details of the project. The roles and responsibilities of the school community stakeholders were discussed and delegated. Most importantly, a brief risk management roster was also introduced to keep all the stakeholders on the loop regarding all the risks that could happen before, during, and after the project. 

Alex Ricahuerta, School Head of Can-abujon Elementary School, expressed his sentiments about the project saying that they are, “happy and excited for this project because this will surely answer our need for classrooms.”

RAFI-EDU has embarked on countless SRPs before. And they hope that the ones they are doing for the partner schools in Balamban, Tuburan, and Ronda would be just as impactful as the ones they did before. Investing on education for the youth has never been more important as it is today. 

The Education Development Unit of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI-EDU) helps in the formation of effective learning environments by providing high-quality, cost-effective school infrastructure and by capacitating school communities for the continuous improvement of learning outcomes.