ATI MiMaRoPa Provides Skills and Livelihood Training for Rural Women of Lubang

Participants while processing the mango

Many government and non-government organizations have found new and interesting methods of empowering rural women and providing them with means to sustain a livelihood. Many of these women are either out of work, or work in low paid professions traditionally assigned to women like domestic help. We need to empower them socially, equip them with a range of skills and knowledge to enable them to build confidence and earn additional income.

Hence, as training and extension arm in the region empowered these rural women of Lubang, Occidental Mindoro thru value-adding of products. This was formed part of the Training on Gender and Development themed “Hapag-asa: Skills and Livelihood Program” which was held at Brgy. Tilik, Lubang, Occidental Mindoro.

One of the participants of the training was Jaizaneth “Aiza” Sales, 29, married and with two kids. Aiza said that when she learned that a livelihood skills training would be offered in her hometown, she immediately signed up for the course on food processing.

“I expect to learn so much about processing of mango and cashew” she says while taking a break from the lecture and demonstration. “During April and May, mango and cashew are very abundant in our community. Sometimes, no one would buy even it only costs P5.00 per kilo,” she adds.

Her co-participants believe that the said training was timely and very useful in their localities. Out of mango and cashew, they made jams, jellies, wines and vinegars. They also processed smoked fish. In addition, ATI taught them of the proper packaging and labeling of products as indicated in the Food Safety Act of 2013.

“In our village, most of the women are plain housewives, but with this training, we can initiate a simple business or even form an organization to further empower the rural women and earn additional income to sustain our daily living,” says Rosalina Masangkay.

Aside from the livelihood training, ATI also oriented about gender equality and rights of women as stipulated in the Magna Carta for Women. This was also a good opportunity to the community because some of the participants were barangay officials under women and protection desk.

A total of 45 rural women, brgy. officials and farmers attended the training.