Thirty young solo mothers in Barangay Luna, Cadiz City partnered with the adult students of the Expanded Tertiary Education and Equivalency Program (ETEEAP) of La Consolacion College Bacolod in a community project aimed at providing them with the opportunity to discover easy-to-setup livelihoods especially at this time when many are still constrained by COVID-19 pandemic and are recovering from the damage of Typhoon Odette that hit Negros Occidental.
The Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) of Barangay Luna co-sponsored the project and allocated a budget for the start-up kits. SK Chairman Mr. Bryan Paul Dequita said that they specifically identified the solo mothers 30 years old and younger as target beneficiaries of the project.
Adult students in the Bachelor of Arts in English Language Studies (ABELS) and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration invited Ms. Oliva De Asis, a TESDA certified trainer with expertise in dishwashing liquid making and cooperative development. The project provided hands-on training on production of dishwashing liquid which has been proven viable in the market. The solo mothers received starter kits with supplies and tools they could use to produce the initial set of products.
“We are very glad that this project made it before the closing of our annual budget. So when we saw its beneficiality especially to the underserved sectors of our community, we did not hesitate to have the project approved by the Barangay Council”, Dequita said.
The Department of Education in Cadiz also supported the event with three elementary schools in the division taking part in the said project. There were lessons and fun games for students of Edigo Fernandez Elementary School, Don Luis Consing Elementary School, and Progreso Elementary School.
The ETEEAP ABELS students themselves facilitated the learning activities and games for the children. Ms. Mirtha Prietos gave a demonstration on proper hygiene and art lessons. Ms. Lowela Canoy conducted a lesson on reading comprehension, while Mr. Erwin Mabugat gave grammar lessons. Ms. Roma Molase gave a lecture on disaster preparedness.
Mr. Julen Alimas, one of the teachers, said that the students are children of parents who took part in the project. “We are very grateful to have been involved in this project. The Barangay provided for the transportation of our students to the venue. We, teachers have benefited too from this project as we have learned about different strategies of engaging students”, Alimas said.
Mr. Rejay Alvarado, Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences and instructor of the ETEEAP, commended the effort of the students especially that they were able to successfully get the commitment of the local government and forged ties with other stakeholders to ensure sustainability of the project.
Sister Joan BC S. Infante, OSA said that the project is a model for the National Service Training Program. “Our direction in the NSTP is to enable students to organize sustainable projects that involve various stakeholders of the community and build capabilities of mission partners capitalizing on resources that are available to them in their community”, she explained. She added that projects should also be relevant for the mission partners.
Mabugat, also the project coordinator, said that the project has been meaningful for them because of the excitement and support of the project stakeholders and because all of them participated fully in the project. He hopes that the technology learned by the solo mothers will lead them to develop an association that will enable them to link dishwashing liquid soap producers to access to market and additional support from the community.
Among the ABELS and BSBA students who took part in the project were Ms. Madonna Aliguin, Mr. Charlson Allador, Ms. Ederlyn Destajo, Ms. Jerry Mae Garay, Mr. Kenan Huerva, Ms. Jae Ann Labios, Mr. Marius Gayotin, Ms. Marne Onge, Mr. Nelfred Ryean Rizate, Mr. John Bermon Sagje, Ms. Marinor Subong, Ms. Shayne Sulat, Mr. Roberto Tibor III, and Ms. Gladys Zabala.