There is opportunity for those who persevere.
This adage applies to Ompongan o mga Bae sa Ranao (OBAERA) –composed of 22 Maranao women of barangay Langi Talub of Masiu town, who finally formalized their registration in Cooperative Development Authority to pursue collectively their dressmaking venture.
Capturing their market, they earned the sum of P41,000 for sewing and selling abaya, mokna, salimot, bags, flaglets for occasion, and wallets.
The women organization was a recent beneficiary of four sewing machines, one zigzag machine and dress-making accessories and fabrics which inspired them to establish its tailoring shop that started accepting orders in November 2019.
They were also able to participate in a livelihood exhibits at Centrio Ayala Mall, Cagayan de Oro city.
To reckon, these women group themselves in a desire to generate income, provide necessities of the families — like healthcare and education of their children; and, access training from possible partners.
They formerly focused on household chores; cultivate backyard gardening; or were into micro-entrepreneurial sari–sari stores.
The locale’s conservative culture inhibited them to vigorously practice and involve women in larger plans and manage their own business.
OBAERA was formally organized in 2016 when they set their vision, mission and goals and identified their structure and leaders. Every member contributed Php 200.00 as start-up capital for rice and sugar lending which eventually scaled up into Php 27,000.00.
In 2017, the organization was restructured and they elected Sommaya Solaiman, a 26 year-old single woman as their chairperson.The organization continued to receive capability trainings until the Marawi siege in 2017 which made them decide to evacuate to their relatives in Lanao del Norte and Iligan City.
“It wasn’t easy to manage a community enterprise and our organization as well. I’m young herding a flock of elderly women whose trust and confidence I treasure the most,” expressed Solaiman.
“So, I took seriously all training on organizational management and other capability-building; abide all the set policies; and adhered on transparency for everyone. I always showed them the progress of our organization’s income. I also consult my organization whenever there’s a decision to make. I respect their opinion and I believe they respected me, too,” said Solaiman.
“I am seeing my organization as a model. I want to prove to them that youth and women can also move the community,” she expressed.
OBAERA partners with Maradeca Inc. in its sustainable development and social enterprise development which was supported by CARITAS-Australia.
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