“Knock and shall be open unto you”. These verse mirror a woman who begs to God and seek for help. Blessed with abundance and love with the help of organization, her determination and faith were rewarded.

     Jenny Geliciano Bermudez is a resident of Balabay Bato at Brgy, SAnito, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. In 2007, they decided to settle down and were blessed with 2 children who ages 10 and 5 years old, respectively. Living in a province gives Jenny with mixed feelings because her children needed to walk to school which is 500 meters away from theirhome. There are rocks and footbridge ahead which makes her feel bad seeing their ripped shoes and feet with callouses. Happy at the same time because her children are contented on what they have.

Jenny’s husband, Feliciano, works in a bakery shop for 17 years.He started as a janitor and dishwasher at the same time with a monthly salary of php3,000 pesos. Seeing how hardworking Feliciano is, he was then promoted as a cook. Aside from working in a bakery shop on daylight, he also drives a habal-habal at night to augment their income. Jenny on the other hand is a housewife and is responsible to look after her children. When Jenny finds vacant time, she gleaned for shellfish in a coveand cook some viands to sell in the neighbourhood. By this, she can contribute to her family even with meagre income. .

During the time when Jenny delivered her first child, Eizel, his husband started to experience difficulty on earning money. When Eizel got sick he could no longer afford to bring her to the hospital for check-ups. Jenny realized how hard life is but she never felt discouraged even though their primary problem is insufficient to put food on table. This resulted even todiscover that her daughter is malnourished as declared by the Barangay Household Worker. She continued further the simple earning she does to ensure her family won’t suffer from these struggles.

     In the year 2013, the Department of Health launched a Feeding Program for malnourished children where her daughter became a recipient. All the mothers with malnourished children decided to create a group named “Sanito Motherhood Association”. This association is composed of mothers with malnourished children which aim is to help and assist the agency in the feeding program during the activity

After the creation of the said association, some opportunities and blessings from other agencies were poured out to them. Jenny and the rest of the mothers were given the Skills Training on on Meat and Fish Food Processing given by the BFAR to includethe askills training on bread and pastry given by TESDA. Another skills training on banana chips making, peanut butter, peanut brittle, sweet coated and salty peanuts with starter kits was also given by the DOST. DSWD KALAHI-CIDDS on the other hand shared physical resources like the training centre, electric fans and others.

On 2014, Ms. Jenny and her husband decided to acquire a house to live.  They were able to acquire a simple house, the floor is made of bamboo, while the roof is made of half nipa and half plain sheet.

Jenny alsoplants vegetables in their vacant lotto augmentin their family’s food consumption. She also raised some chickens. On August 11, 2015, Ms. Jenny was hired and served as (BHW) Barangay Household Worker in their barangay.

On March 2016, the DSWD-Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) came in to give opportunities to the “Sanito Motherhood Association”, After the training, they were granted a financial assistance throughSeed Capital Fund project amounting to Php390,000.00. Their group name now became “Sanito Motherhood Pantawid SKA”. Their association serves catering services and food processing. Coming from their funds, they were also able to acquire a small vehicle to carry and transport their equipment during caterings.

Jenny said that after the implementation of SLP, aside from their earnings in banana chips and other products, each member is given a chance to earn extra money through rendering their services during the catering activity. She earns at Php200.00 in every catering service. Their association caters public and private sectors, with at least 2-3 clients on average every month.

Jenny is overwhelmed even after joining the SLPof DSWD. Shebecame known in the community and got a chance to become a temporary MLGU enumerator for the census. This means she will be paid for the services rendered as an enumerator. She is gratefulon the changes brought by these blessings in their life now. The health of their children isnow in good condition, they have convenient shelter to live, a little vegetable garden for consumption and some chickens for selling in due time. Above all, they can already to afford to eat regular nutritious meals,buy new clothes for her children and other important things.

Having a better life now, Jenny and her husband talked about having their own little fast food store. All her dreams for her family slowly came true.

Jenny is thankful to all the agencies that one way or another helped her and the association to make their lives better. She is also thankful to the people behind the SLP-DSWD who continuously give their untiring services to the poor and vulnerable.

“Daghang salamat sa tabang gikan sa SLP-DSWD, kaning gihatag ninyo sa amoa makatabang dyud og dako labi na sa akong pamilya”.- Jenny Bermudez###

###BernelySheilaineDeLeon/Carolyn Baylon