Julita, a SEED beneficiary in the Philippines
In CAVITE, with our partner partenaire SEED
Having started with next to nothing, Julita and her husband now own 7 fishing boats and a business selling fishing equipment !
When very young, I left my home province of Samar to try my luck in the city of Manila. I was prepared to take on any kind of work: cleaning lady, house-keeper, assistant cook… Then I met Maximo and we got married.
He was working as fisherman’s mate on a small boat. These were not easy times for us; despite long working hours, our income remained low. Then one day, the boat on which Maximo worked came up for sale.
We decided to buy it. That way my husband wouldn’t be just a fisherman’s mate for the rest of his life! However, no matter which way we did our sums, we could not afford to buy the boat, fuel and fishing equipment…
A helping hand to get us started
Luckily, at about the same time, a neighbour told me about SEED*. I began by following their training sessions, which helped me to understand the importance of savings – sound advice for what was to follow! Then I obtained a loan for 4,000 pesos (€80) from SEED. This enabled us to buy the boat and start up our business.
Thanks to our savings and another loan from SEED, I managed to buy a second boat, then a third! By saving and borrowing, we continued to expand. We even started a small business selling fishing nets and iceboxes to other fishermen. Our prices were very competitive, because we had found a good chain of suppliers…
I was able to buy a fridge and extend our house… and finally, to buy two more houses for our children to live in and even a fourth to rent out! What a change this made to our lives!
Impact on the community
We now own three large boats and four smaller ones. Of course a day’s bad weather at sea always means a day with no income… But we have created 22 jobs in our community and we are bursting with new plans!