January 22, 2015 is a special day for 348 Nanay (mother) micro-entrepreneurs in Leyte. It is the day of their graduation from Hapinoy’s Project Bagong Araw—a sari-sari store (small retail store) rehabilitation program for communities affected by Tyhphoon Yolanda. The graduation was held at the Appostolic Center in Tanauan, Leyte. More than officially concluding the project, their graduation marks the beginning of a new day for the Nanays, a day filled with hope and confidence; it marks the beginning of their being Hapinoy Nanays.
For six months, since April of 2014, the Nanays have been working hand-in-hand with Hapinoy in rebuilding their stores and restoring what they lost in the typhoon. Project Bagong Araw provided the Nanays with three key resources: business skills training, access to capital loans, and a store makeover. The training equipped the Nanays to become wiser and more effective entrepreneurs while the loans enabled them to restart their business and the makeover provided them with the physical structure they needed to secure their stores.
Project Bagong Araw is made possible by the support of generous Hapinoy partners: AirAsia Founation, SunLife Financial, SunLife Foundation, Manulife, Ayala Foundation, Tanging Yaman Foundation, Philippine Business for Social Change (PBSP), CARD Bank, Taytay sa Kauswagan Inc. (TSKI), Martinez Family and other willing groups and organizations. Project Bagong Araw is a meaningful coming together of different organizations from different fields with a shared goal of empowering women micro-entrepreneurs in Leyte as they lead their families and communities in facing a new day every day.
The graduation was not a celebration of the project’s conclusion or success but the Nanays’ triumphs, and unwavering strength. On this special day, members from several partners attended and celebrated with the Nanays. They also cheered on the 22 newly selected Hapinoy Ambassadors—exemplary Hapinoy Nanays whom their fellow Nanays look up to and aspire to become. Hapinoy Ambassadors have a special role of sharing their stories to other Nanays, sometimes from other parts of the Philippines, in the hopes of encouraging them and showing them that they too can reach their dreams and continue to chase bigger ones.
With the conclusion of Project Bagong Araw 2014, Hapinoy congratulates the Nanays and thanks their partners for a successful year and for the new day that we will face together in our own journeys. And in 2015, with the support of Hapinoy partners, we hope to reach more communities and Nanays.