On February 13, 2007 the members of the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers' Association (MCPA) CC of Tala, Caloocan City in Metro Manila were awarded the seed capital for their individual livelihood projects.
Five thousand pesos were given to each member who have applied and undergone training under the Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (“progress”) or SEA-K Livelihood Program offered by the Department of Social Welfare & Development (DSWD). The moment the members will be able to return the seed loan to the government within the next 6 months they are entitled to the next level of loan where the capital is much higher than the first one (about 45,000 pesos each, payable within 3 years free of interest!)
Mr. Lee Collano, Peacemakers’ Circle CC staff and MCPA CC coordinator considered this project a breakthrough since most conflicts in the communities around Metro Manila are tied up with the economic crisis. In this partnership between one of the government’s agency –DSWD-- and the people’s organizations—and through the linking efforts of Peacemakers’ CC-- there is hope for alleviation of poverty and establishment of peace and order in these grassroots areas.
Peacemakers’ Circle CC leader, Ms. Marites Africa, expressed her joy about the project: “It was a happy occasion that afternoon for those of us present in the community to bear witness to the awarding of the funds to each of the members. The joy in their faces (when they came forward to receive the money) was so heartwarming that in my heart I fervently hoped and prayed that their endeavors at setting up their small livelihood businesses would succeed. How wonderful it would be to see our friends there growing in self confidence and sense of empowerment!”
This livelihood assistance of the DSWD that has been made possible through the tireless assistance of Mr. Lee has generated a growth in the membership of the MCPA CC. From 38 members, the number has now swelled to around 60. They have been divided into two groups to facilitate the application process of the SEA-K livelihood program.