A training of trainers workshop in business planning was conducted by the Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation (SERDEF) for Heifer International Philippines (HIP). last September 24 to 29 at the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), Silang, Cavite.
Heifer program officers and staff attended the workshop to prepare for their role as advisers and trainers to their beneficiary groups of smallholder farmers in planning their prospective agri-business enterprises.
“It is our hope that after training, our staff will be equipped with knowledge and tools in analyzing the viability of a business and project and in facilitating a business planning workshop with the farmer cooperatives, associations and households,” said HIP Country Director Hercules Paradiang early during the planning of the training program.
HIP is an international NGO working to end poverty in many parts of the world through a values-based and holistic community development approach. In the Philippines, it works with the most depressed communities in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley and Metro Manila in Luzon; Bicol Region and the Visayas; and the CARAGA Region in Mindanao.
Paradiang described HIP’s poverty-fighting strategy thus:
Under the program, livestock (cows, carabaos, goats and fowls) are given to poor families, together with technical training on how to grow and breed them, to help them improve their nutrition and generate income in a sustainable way. Recipient families pay forward by passing on a female offspring of the animal they received to another needy family in the community. As the gifts of livestock are passed on serially, cycle after cycle, the community flourishes and prospers over the long term.
The recently-concluded SERDEF workshop advances Heifer’s self-help empowerment program by helping beneficiaries take their livelihood activity to the next level — a formal business enterprise — after establishing the viability of the project through a systematic process of business planning.
In his remarks at the opening of the workshop, SERDEF Chairman Francisco Floro said that SERDEF shares HIP’s vision of giving people opportunities to change their lives by helping them realize the capabilities and potentials they already have.
“We believe as Heifer believes, that the Filipinos can help themselves if they would just be given the opportunity to succeed. We have always advocated for projects that promote sustainable development, projects that would give the people a chance to help themselves, projects like Heifer’s.”
Celia Pascual, SERDEF trustee and member of the Research and Information Committee, managed the HIP-SERDEF training.