Filipino Family Rallies Around Pig Business
(Aug. 25, 2017 Update)
The Algang Nanay piggery project run by ER partner Batang Matinik continues to produce inspiring stories of changed lives in Quezon City, Philippines.
Originally launched to help women generate income by raising pigs (see below), Algang Nanay (Mother’s Care) has helped turn one Filipino father’s life around as well.
Kuya Erning Mercado was, as Batang Matinik’s Marlyn Danas writes, “a picture of the typical husband in a poor province in the Philippines – engaged in gambling, no permanent job, full of vices and an ex-convict. No one trusted him because of his reputation.”
Meanwhile, Rosalie Mercado was searching for ways to provide for the couple’s eight children. With Batang Matinik’s help, she entered the piggery program with the goal of sending her kids to school and earning profits to meet the family’s needs.
Then the kids themselves got interested, and began feeding the hogs and cleaning their pen. Eventually – after two years – Kuya Erning took note and started to help, too. He also began embracing his role as head of the family and dove into business training and values formation lessons from Batang Matinik.
Today he helps not only raise the hogs, he’s marketing the business as well; now in its third year, it’s turning a profit and is more productive than ever.
“Kuya Erning Mercado has enlightened himself and now knows his worth as head of the family,” Marlyn reports. “His life is no longer stagnant. Staying busy in the hog business has kep him away from his vices. People look at him with surprise and ask, ‘How did you do it?’ The respect the people in the community give him, and especially the trust, pride and honor his wife and children give him, have brought back his confidence and respect for himself.”
As Kuya Erning shared with his fellow church members one recent morning: “Today I know my direction. I know how to provide for my family and I can lead them well and share the true meaning of success!”
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Batang Matinik Helps Community Members Dream and Succeed
(September 29, 2016) ER partner Batang Matinik (Smart Kids) is doing some powerful work in Quezon City, Philippines, including a food program for malnourished children, medical and dental care, disaster relief, skills training and economic empowerment.
In that latter category is a unique and creative endeavor called the Algang Nanay (Mother’s Care) piggery project. It works like this:
The client starts with five piglets, which typically are ready for market after four months or so. The client will sell three of the pigs and keep two, both female, which they will continue to rear until they are ready to reproduce. After another four months, a female pig can give birth to anywhere from six to 14 piglets. In one year, a fully grown female pig can reproduce 28-42 piglets, and clients begin earning a profit during their second year in the program.
One beneficiary of Algang Nanay is Marinel Saez, her husband, Arnel, and their seven children. Marinel dreams of sending her kids to college. But living in a remote area and working as tenants on a relative’s farm, Marinel and Arnel were making just enough to cover daily food needs.
After some of the Saez children entered the feeding program, Marinel got to know Batang Matinik founders Ariel and Marlyn Danas. They encouraged her to join a weekly mothers support group and identified her as a candidate for the piggery program.
“The first cycle of the piggery business was successful,” Marinel reports, “and part of our income helped me enroll my daughter Monica in college to study hotel and restaurant services. I’m so grateful that this project helped us to make our dream a reality.”
Then there’s Ine Aldueza, another woman whose life has been profoundly touched by the work of Batang Matinik.
Ine and her family lost their home to Typhoon Glenda, a Category 5 storm that devastated southeast Asia in July 2014. They moved in with her mother-in-law as a temporary measure, and Ine met Ariel, Marlyn and other Batang Matinik staff, who initially enrolled her in a stress debriefing seminar.
“At first I thought I was just wasting my time, but that seminar helped me regain my self confidence, fight through my fears and dream again,” she says.
Batang Matinik also offered funds to help Ine begin building a new home. Newly emboldened, she proposed a bigger idea: “I approached them and asked if I can use that amount for farming capital, and after six to eight months, I would use the capital plus the profit to start my new house for my family.”
That’s exactly what she did, taking an initial gift of 30,000 Philippine pesos and doubling it; now she and her family are in the process of constructing their new home.
“I’m truly grateful for what happened two years ago,” Ine says. “It forced me to dream again and to strive for more.”
Learn more about Batang Matinik at extremeresponse.org/where-we-serve/asia.