An update from Arlene Damas in the Philippines

Arlene in her food stall

Arlene in her food stall

One of the first loans we made almost a year ago, was to Arlene in the Philippines where she runs a food stall, a carinderia.

Here is the update I received:

Arlene Damas grew up in Butuan City, which is in the Caraga Region of the Philippines. She now lives in the town of Lopez Jaena in the Misamis Occidental province with her husband Severino and their three children. They met each other when they were working in Manila City. When they decided to marry, they agreed to live in Severino’s hometown. Arlene’s primary income is from her “carinderia,” a mini eatery. Severino is a carpenter.

Arlene is one of the pioneer Paglaum Coop members. She joined when the program was introduced in Lopez Jaena in 1997. She has taken out five loans with this group.

Arlene lives near Mindanao State University-Lopez Jaena, which offers classes from the primary grades through high school. Many of her customers are students, teachers, and fisherfolks.

With her loan, Arlene increased her food supplies, bought a door lock for the carinderia and a refrigerator so she won’t have to rent a freezer from her neighbor anymore.

Her loan is now 95% repaid.

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