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The San Vicente 1 Agrarian Reform Cooperative is a three-year-old partner of SIFI-RSS composed of 80 members, predominantly women. The group is located in Silay City where SIFI has consistently trained their members about child labour mitigation, how to wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE), and productive sugar farm tech practices. They were also provided by SIFI with livelihood support which included business trainings, starter kit assistance, and on-site business coaching.

The women learned fast and were excited to go into business. With SIFI’s assistance, they began rice retailing in 2017. They started with a P10k investment and working capital plus RSS support. By 2018 they put up a wholesale consumer store catering to small retailers around their community. In just 26 months, they obtained a gross sales of almost P2.7 Million with a net profit of 15%.

Aside from hard work, all the luck was with them because the location of their store was perfect and accessible. From their income they learned the value of savings and of sharing dividends. Their members gained employment opportunities and additional income to provide education for their young.

And since luck was on their side, the San Vicente women continued to push forward. Inspite of the threat of the pandemic, they decided in 2020 to launch their third livelihood challenge— the SV1 ARC Frozen Food Store which they opened on September 8 after receiving training from DTI on meat processing (tocino, chorizo, siomai, etc).  SIFI-RSS provided their freezer, gas burner sets and kitchen appliances, while the coop spent on the renovation of their store and pooled their working capital.

Looking back on their incredible journey these past 3 years, these empowered women of San Vicente ARC can proudly boast that they achieved success through their collective efforts and their unity of purpose to provide service and economic upliftment to their coop and community.