Life has never been easy for the family of Evelyn Caballero, 42, of Villamor Compound, Balulang here.
But, the perseverance of Evelyn and her family brought her to live out of poverty.
Three years ago, Evelyn marched onstage along with her husband and daughters during the graduation ceremony at the Philippine Institute of Skills and Development (PISAD).
Evelyn finished the Beauty Care Course of PISAD and passed the National Certificate II accreditation by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Evelyn was among the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries who participated in the skills training in November 2014 until April 2015.
The six-month training included skills assessment and certification as well as entrepreneurship development activities. It has two components namely, the training for wage employment and training for self-employment.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) has partnered with PISAD and TESDA in providing skills training to beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya.
Pantawid Pamilya is one of the poverty reduction strategies of the national government implemented by the DSWD which focuses on human capital investment through provision of health and education cash grants to eligible households with children aged 0-18, with the primary aim to break the inter-generational poverty cycle.
Re-opening her parlor
Even if Evelyn has a TESDA accreditation and is eligible to work abroad, she has no plans of leaving. She is determined to stay in the country to guide her children during their formative years.
Instead of working abroad, she has her heart set on rebuilding her parlor which was destroyed by Typhoon Sendong in December 2011.
Through her quality and affordable services, Evelyn maintains a good number of customers daily. Because of this, Evelyn’s income from operating a beauty parlor becomes a big income grosser to the family’s coffer. She can easily pay the P6,000 rent a month for her parlor.
Her aim to provide a better life for her family, especially for the education of her three children became a reality. Her eldest, Christine Mae is now working the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 10 as a Municipal Link assigned in Maramag, Bukidnon.
Her middle child is now a first year college at Lourdes College here, taking up Bachelor of Science in Social Work while her youngest, Leizl is a Grade 7 student of Balulang National High School.
“Nakatulong talaga ang technical-vocational training na ito sa akin at sa iba pang mga kababayan natin na dati ay hindi nabibigyan na oportunidad para mapaginhawa ang buhay. Ngayon na-eenjoy naming mahihirap ang mga tulong na ito,” Evelyn stated.
(The training has helped me and all other Filipinos who were not previously given opportunities like this to improve our lives. But now, Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are reaping the benefits of government programs)
Evelyn’s husband, Silvestre, 43, used to drive a passenger jeepney. The meager income from driving could barely make him money. So, he decided to drive a taxi.
After a few months of driving a taxi, Silvestre could hardly sustain the needs of his family without the augmentation of Evelyn’s income from their parlor.
This, until the owner of Silvestre’s taxi introduced him a rent-to-own scheme.
Now, the family owns two units of taxi and they are on the process of acquiring another unit.
Evelyn used to train the residents of the DSWD- Field Office X Haven for Women, a facility for victim-survivors of abuse, on manicure, pedicure, foot massage, make-up and spa.
Evelyn said she wanted to share the skills she learned to others by offering it to her fellow 4Ps beneficiaries.
“Gusto kong ibahagi ang biyaya na ipinagkaloob ng DSWD at makatulong sa kapwa sa pamamagitan ng pagbahagi ng aking kaalaman sa Beauty Care."
(I would like to share the blessings DSWD has given me as well as help other people by imparting my knowledge on Beauty Care)
Evelyn is about to exit from the program anytime.
She is grateful for the assistance that she and her family received from the government.
She said the keys to her success are hard work, dedication, perseverance, and willingness to accept change.
“If you came from a poor family don't think and act like you will be poor forever and feel sorry for yourself. God helps those who help themselves," she added.
To date, Northern Mindanao has 258,461 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who are provided with health and educational assistance, and the opportunity to further improve their economic well-being through the various livelihood assistance provided by the government.
It is the priority of DSWD to provide effective, caring, and immediate delivery of social protection services to the poor and the needy particularly the PWDs, senior citizens, children and women and other vulnerable sectors.
All DSWD offices will ensure that such services will be given to them properly and timely when they needed it most. For Northern Mindanao, they can contact through its FB Page: DSWD Region X, landline: (088) 858-8959, twitter: DSWD Northern Mindanao @dswdfo10, and website: www.fo10.dswd.gov.ph.