Seeds of Empowerment: Roberts’s journey towards a sustainable livelihood   

In the heart of Cebu in the Philippines, where the warmth of community and the struggles of livelihood intertwine, the “Cebu Families Education for Enhanced Livelihood Project” project emerged to empower families, break down gender norms and enhance livelihoods.  

In a society where most livelihood initiatives cater to women, Robert*, a 56-year-old carpenter who relied on seasonal work, discovered the Men Equally Asserting Livelihood Support (MEALS) initiative. Robert embraced a series of staged training sessions. His journey unfolded through creating a business proposal for a food vending venture, which unlocked access to seed funding.   

Robert’s shift from relying solely on carpentry to managing his small business marked a significant transformation. The modest venture ensured his household’s financial stability but also inspired other men in the community.  

Robert expressed gratitude to the project in his own words, stating, “I am thankful to Edmund Rice Foundation for accepting me to participate in the project, and I am proud to be a male pioneer of the project.”  

 Robert has encouraged other men to break free from traditional roles and embrace the MEALS initiative, motivating them to engage and generate additional income for their households. Moreover, the project facilitated social mobility, providing means for families to invest in their children’s education, family healthcare, and other essential needs. 

I am so happy and thankful for ERFA for teaching us how to plan, work and plant vanilla in the correct way.
Mar 2020
Beans of Hope
Apr 2020
Beans of Hope