Story and Photo by Aimee Liz Malingan | Monitoring and Evaluation Officer | Heifer Philippines
Teresa Alcido, 38, is one of the beneficiaries of the Heifer Philippines PROGRESS project. She is a full-time housewife and mother to four boys: Ryan, 17, Ronald, 12, John, 5, and Gideon, 3. Teresa is married to Mariano, who works part-time as a paid laborer during breaks from his own farming activities. The owner of the small farm where Mariano works is a relative who allows them to temporarily use a parcel of land for free. The main crops on the land are root crops and rice.
The Alcido family is one of the 91 original families who were able to pass on gifts to another community as part of the IGOROTA project in Bauko, Mt. Province. The IGOROTA (Integrating Gift-giving and Organizing for Over-all community Transformation Attainment) project is a sub-project of the PROGRESS umbrella project.
"I attended the Cornerstone Workshop, where I learned the value of savings and group participation," Teresa said. "I learned so much about how to properly take care of a pig in my own backyard so I could pass on my gifts to another family on time. In October 2011, I received a 6-month-old gilt, three chickens, vegetable seeds and fruit tree seedlings. From my pig, I was able to pass on to another family from the first set of piglets born to her. The mother pig was able to bear three sets of piglets, some were sold, some were raised to fatten for meat, and one from every litter was donated to the church I attend."
Her oldest son Ronald shared, "My mother is very kind, helpful and always provides what she can to make us healthy; she takes good care of us." John, the youngest, said, "She gives me snacks and toys."
With a smile, Teresa quipped, "I am happier now that I can help my husband raise our family. With the income coming in from the pig sales, even if our relative decides to take their farmland back, we no longer worry; we have a source of income not only for our own basic needs, but also for those we may be able to help."
Recently, the community members assembled for a presentation of the End-of-Project Evaluation results. Teresa and her family's story reflect the feelings of all the community members gathered. The project goals were increased income, better relationships with other community members, and reinforced family values—and the community solidly believes these were accomplished. Each family feels more secure and has vowed to continue Passing on the Gift® as long as there are needy families in the community.
The PROGRESS project (Pro-Active and Resilient Organizations for Economic and Self-Reliance) is an umbrella project of Heifer Philippines. It started in December 2010 and ended on June 30, 2013.