Monday, October 12, 2009

Needs in the Philippines

ICDC has been able to partner with several local NGOs to provide assistance to families devastated by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng (known as Ketsana and Parma in the international community). Currently, the needs for basic necessities outweigh anything else, with families searching for food, clean water, shelter, and clothing.

ICDC is currently accepting donations for 1 week's worth of food for about 10,000 families. In addition, they are facing a great medicine shortage. Because of conditions brought on by the flooding, medication for diarrhea, athlete's foot, colds, hypertension, and fevers are the most essential, followed by a need for vitamins to boost immune resistance to the rampant disease.

To best offer aid for these needs, ICDC is meeting with the Red Cross about a possible 2-week medical mission to the area.

Pollution is also becoming an issue, with garbage piling up, smelling, and providing a place for fungus and disease to grow. For the moment, the best solution available in most locations is to sequester trash and debris as much as possible.

Given the incredibly large number of people affected by this disaster, ICDC does not yet know how long relief efforts are going to be necessary. They are, however, dedicated to offering aid in as many ways as possible until the crisis is over.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Philippines Post-Typhoon Situation Summary

Between September 26, 2009 and October 3, 2009, two typhoons hit the Philippines. The wind and rains have filled many roads waist-deep or higher, making them all but impassable. People have been stranded away from their families for hours or days needed rescue from rooftops and trees, and some even lost their lives.

In some places, the devastation was total. Buildings not destroyed are uninhabitable, and food supplies cut off indefinitely. ICDC and other local NGOs have been working day and night to reach people who need the basic necessities: food, clean water, and dry clothes. The city flooded so quickly in places that people were unable to save anything except the clothes on their backs and their lives, so the need for basic necessities is great.

Many of the families affected were participants in ICDC's microfinance program, and so are some of the micro-entrepreneurs GIVE has been hoping to aid. ICDC is assessing their situations and mustering what aid they can to help.

Needless to say, these disasters put a crimp in GIVE's plans to open the new micro-entrepreneurship center. While those plans are still in the works, ICDC and its affiliates have had to refocus on helping the communities around them survive and thrive in the face of this tragedy. We hope that this will be a short delay and our plans will be back on schedule shortly.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

GIVE's New Project in the Philippines

In our endeavors to help micro-entrepreneurs acquire business skills and their basic business needs, GIVE is proud to announce a new partnership. Together with the Inner City Development Cooperative (ICDC), an NGO on the ground in Manila, we will be putting together an urban entrepreneurship center in Manila, Philippines.

This center will offer basic entrepreneurship training, via the Barefoot MBA program, as well as additional business training and support services to help micro-entrepreneurs build a sturdy business from the ground up, providing poor communities everything from how to find their target market, community support services, developing computer and Internet skills for global business, and other services that will be based on community needs, challenges and opportunities.

Our hope is that the entrepreneurship center will help small entrepreneurs create a successful local business that will offer their family the support and stability they need to thrive. In addition, the center will offer entrepreneurs a sort of central administration office, where they can use computers, make photocopies and printouts, and have access to materials that they would not be able to purchase themselves.

With these resources, our entrepreneurs will be able to take their businesses far beyond the level they could reach without these resources.

We are currently looking for local sponsorship for the center. It is our goal to partner with one or more larger local or locally based international businesses in the area, both to fund the center but also to connect the micro-entrepreneurs we educate to the larger economic community.

We're especially excited about our partner for this center. ICDC has a solid background in seeing the needs of local families and entrepreneurs and finding creative, culturally specific ways of meeting them. As our first partner in this endeavor, they promise to bring savvy, open minds with the creativity and fortitude necessary for the center's success.

Our hope is that this is the first of many of these centers to be set up in the Philippines and around the globe. GIVE's goal is to aid as many micro-entrepreneurs as possible, through education, practical resources, and networking opportunities.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Barefoot MBA Training of Trainers Project in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines

GIVE recently organized and completed a workshop in Bacolod City, Philippines, on August 24-28, 2009 to provide teacher curriculum training for the Barefoot MBA, a business skills training program.

The workshop was hosted by Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation and attended by 27 representatives from several Asian organizations in the Philippines and Cambodia. Scott Raymond and Katherine Boas, two Stanford Graduate School of Business students who developed the program, traveled to the Philippines to lead the workshop.

Barefoot MBA was adapted from a long running program developed by the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), a prominent Thai nongovernmental organization (NGO). According to the Stanford Graduate School of Business website:
  • Katherine Boa and Scott Raymond got the idea during a service-learning trip to Thailand early in 2007, organized through the School’s Public Management Program. Their host was Mechai Vivavaidya, the founder and chairman of Population and Community Development Association, which received a $1 million Gates Award for Global Health in 2007 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • The Thai group’s founder told the Stanford students that rural business owners who received microloans could benefit from a basic curriculum designed to help them learn business fundamentals. “Scott and I sort of looked at each other and we said, ‘We could do that.’ We’ve learned this stuff,” Boas said.
  • Designed for teachers, the Barefoot MBA series of lessons explain complex topics to motivated, but often uneducated, people who may be unfamiliar with formal classroom environments and teaching tools.
The workshop serves as a launching point for GIVE’s work in Asia in the coming year. GIVE is supporting the rollout of the Barefoot MBA with our partners to help poor entrepreneurs master basic business concepts, develop an entrepreneurial mindset and make better business decisions. Stay tuned!