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Philippines: Asset Based Community Development

Adora growing nutritious food in her backyard. © Clagel Nellas, VIMROD, 2019.
Adora growing nutritious food in her backyard. © Clagel Nellas, VIMROD, 2019.

Adora lives with her husband and two children in a remote community in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. She, like most members of her community, faces many challenges. Transport is difficult to access, and is very expensive. Communication is also a problem and livelihoods are precarious. And although Adora’s husband works in a bakery, his income is barely enough to live on. The family has even experienced times of malnutrition. And, at such times, they have been at the mercy of loan sharks.

Adora describes in her own words the empowering effect that working with one of ABM’s Philippine partners, IFI- VIMROD, has had on her and her fellow farmers:

“As soon I started to participate in the program activities, I began to understand that the IFI-VIMROD program on Asset-based Community Development is not just about income. It taught me and the rest of the members of Kikilo Vendors and Farmers Association (KVFA) the values of strengthening family and community relations, taking care of the environment, sustainable agriculture, asset-sharing and organizational and financial management.”

Adora also said that the moment she started vegetable production in her backyard, her understanding about the asset- based approach hit home:

“My organization through free-collective work, helped me establish my yard garden. We utilized what is already in the community without spending much. As part of our commitment, we have now a seed-sharing system. From the time I was able to harvest, I felt a sense of fulfilment. Aside from being able to provide enough daily food for my family, I am now sure that our food is both safe and nutritious.”

Adora believes that all members of her KVFA group have embraced the asset-based approach. This was shown when the group decided to start another self-initiated activity – the “Basic (Rice) Commodity Retail Project”.

“Here, each member contributed 100 pesos ($2.80) as start-up capital for the rice retail project. When the ABM funds came, we were so glad because our organization can provide better service to our community and help save them the marketing expenses.” Adora said.

Currently, people in the community will no longer spend around 350 pesos ($10) each week for transport to get to market because they now have rice growing in their community through the project. Thus, the money saved on transport and more expensive rice from markets has enabled them to buy a greater variety of nutritious food locally. VIMROD reports that, in addition to the Basic Commodity Retail Project helping its members to save money on rice, KVFA as a cooperative organisation also realised a net profit of 15,000 pesos ($420), just four months after it began.

ABM's Partners

ABM works in the Philippines with two partners, E-CARE (part of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines) and IFI-VIMROD. Both partners work closely with poor people in often very remote local communities to strengthen their capacity to engage in profitable, sustainable farming and related activities.

They help communities to form small groups or cooperatives, and train them in a form of development known as “Asset-Based”, where communities are encouraged to consider their assets, and build from those, to help address their own development issues.

E-CARE reports that many of the communities they have helped through the Asset-based approach are now well on their way to becoming independent cooperatives. With ABM’s support this year E-CARE will provide training to these cooperatives in financial management and enterprise management to ensure they are sustainable for years to come.

Your generous support of this project will help many families like Adora’s to lift themselves out of poverty, and provide the means and inspiration for others in their communities to do likewise.

This year we aim to:

  • Help farmers in 20 local government areas in the Visayas region of the Philippines to improve their food security and better prepare for disasters

  • Help 34 community groups and their members to gain the financial skills to ensure they are able to manage their livelihood activities and do not fall back into debt to loan sharks

» In 2020 the Asset Based Community Development project needs $73,500 (tax-deductible)



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  • Alternatively, for donations by cheque/money order (made out to the Anglican Board of Mission - Australia), telephone or email, view contact details here. Please don’t forget to include the project name and/or code PH001EE with your payment details.

Gifts to ABM will be applied to the support of project(s) selected. In the unlikely event of the project being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to a similar project to the one(s) selected.

 Australian Aid logo    This project receives partial funding from the Australian Government.
Community Development badge  This is part of the Community Development Program: Learn more about ABM's Programs