The only way up is to grow

Posted 12 months ago

In a small town located away from the city, a family can only find comfort in living through limited resources such as agriculture. Dulcesima Java, found ways to feed her family through farming. Dulcesima is a Nanaypreneur living in Sangi, Sudlon 1, Cebu. She is a mother to 5 children and a wife to Victor Java, who was previously a tricycle driver in their barangay.

They had a small farm that was used for their own consumption. Unfortunately, it was not enough. She had difficulties in providing as her children was growing and soon enough needed to be schooled. Being in the farming business, Dulcesima has encountered struggles in their production. “Among uma sauna kay sige’g kabyaan, dili baya pirmente nay ani makuha. Sauna nag-eskwela akong anak, lisod kaayo nakaingon gyud ko na paundangon siya kay akong bana habal-habal driver ra pud. Among konsumo ma short mi. Katong pag 2005, naabot ang mga taga-RAFI diri kay nay assembly sa gym, ug didto niapil ko. (Our farm was usually not attended to, since it’s not all the time that we have crops. When my children went to school, it was really a rough time. I really thought my children will not finish school because my husband was just a habal-habal driver. The income was not enough. When 2005 came, RAFI was having an assembly at the gym, and there I joined).

With the money she acquired from RAFI Micro-finance, she was able to boost her business. She knew that farming was not enough since the crops would take time to grow, so she found ways to deliver a more efficient way which is through selling. As she said, RAFI Micro-finance has given her the chance to elevate their lives. “Arang2 na gyud akong kinabuhi sukad naka-apil ko sa RMF, sauna, walay siguro lage ug mapa eskwela ba nako akong mga anak. Sa diha na nga nag RAFI nako, nakahuman gyud silang tulo. (Ever since I joined RAFI MFI, it instantly changed our life. Because of RAFI MFI my children were able to graduate and finish school).

She started with a Php 5000 loan and has used it as capital to buy vegetables that she was able to sell in the areas of Carbon, Tabunok, Lutopan and Pardo. Along with his children and husband, they strived to widen their range and be able to sell separately amongst the street. But with this success, she experienced hardships also. They had to ride a stranger’s multicab to go to the city, and wait for it to come back so that they can go home. “Sauna bag o pa ko wala mi’y sakyanan, lisod kaayo kay musakay rami ug pasahero-an, dili mi maka-ditso sa kung asa mi gusto mamaligya, kung panahon na sa tig-uli, maghuwat mig truck nga ug kanus-a mularga. (When we started, we didn’t have our own car so we had to commute. It was hard because we can’t go directly to our selling area and we had to adjust to the time when the bus would come and pick up passengers).

But Dulcesima didn’t stop there. With the money she has gained and pursued, she has bought three private vehicles, a newly renovated house with the help of RAFI-MFI’s Housing Improvement loan, along with the construction of her sari-sari store which is now managed by his son, the farm has now grown bigger and well taken care of by his husband, and an upcoming karenderya that she is planning to put up in the near future.

The success that she has now, will not be made possible without her perseverance and dedication to her business. “Kugi lang gyud ug paningkamot, apilan sad ug pag-ampo sa Ginoo. Focus lang sa negosyo, ang atong gi loan na kwarta di nato gastuon ug lain, kay ug atong gastuon ug lain kita ra gyud ang magkalisod. Disciplina sa kaugalingon ug atimanon gyud pirmente ang negosyo. Pasalamat gyud ko sa RAFI, kay kung wala pa ang RAFI wala gyud mi maka angat sa among panginabuhian, RAFI ang maoy gahatag namo ug puhunan, karon mao ni akong source sa among panginabuhian. (Let’s continue to perservere, and of course pray to God. We need to focus on our business and be disciplined enough to not use the money on other things so that we know what our priorities are and it will not ruin our credibility. I’m so thankful to RAFI MFI because if it weren’t for them, we would not be where we are now. They gave me and my family a source of income and a more comfortable life).” She has not forgotten to give back. Now she’s currently selling at a Church in Pardo, where she gives vegetables for the church’s use. Dulcesima also tries and help her fellow neighbors when they’re in need.

Beyond all of this – is a stronger belief to be better, and to be better is to strive even though life gets in the way. As for Dulcesima Java, she has found the way to success in her own terms, and that is through growing.



The Microfinance Program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI-MFI) provides financial and non-financial services to micro-entrepreneurs with a mission of elevating lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged communities through stable and rewarding livelihood.