It Works! Real Stories

Rochelle in the Phillipines

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Ms. Rochelle Gallardo is 35 years of age and a mother of three who owns a burger stand in Panabo, Davao, Philippines. Several years ago, Rachelle’s husband left the family, leaving her to care for her children on her own. Alone and depressed, Rachelle pursued everything that would help her provide food for the family and pay for school fees.

With the assistance of her mother, Rachelle opened a small food canteen at a local school. Each morning, before dawn, she and her mother would prepare and cook the meals they plan to sell at the school during lunch and break time. Although the business would normally require a team of four, Rochelle and her mother ran the business by themselves. “We were tired by the end of the day, but had no choice but to go on. Because the business was just starting, we could not hire additional employees”, commented Rachelle.

Through a neighbor, Rachelle was introduced to Providence’s partners endPoverty.org and the CCT program. “My discovery of CCT was God-sent. Everything suddenly just fell into place after I joined.” After joining CCT and while she was expanding her canteen business at the local school, Rachelle was offered a free stall space in the Panabo Night Market. The night bazaar at the Panabo Night Market is open to the public from 4pm until 11pm. During this time, hundreds of people visit the market for bargains. The offer to have a free stall space came just in time as she was about to receive her first livelihood loan from CCT. With the assistance of the program providing her with an initial loan of $85 and her mother contributing $40, Rachelle was able to purchase a hamburger cart.

Her canteen continued to thrive as she worked with her mom at the school from morning until the afternoon. Immediately after, she would travel to the night market to manage her burger business. With perseverance and faith in God, the burger business became a success. Four months later, Rachelle received her second loan of $127 and bought her very own steel plates for the burger business. “Everything was just happening. God is so amazing. The livelihood loan has given my family a future with hope. I was able to improve my business, but much more than that, the fellowship meetings helped me recover from my depression. I now have hope. Each weekly fellowship meeting was just comforting and encouraging as each of us shares our lives and experiences,” expresses Rachelle as she happily flips the patties cooking on her steel plates.

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