July 20, 2016
Soles4Souls micro-enterprise program helps those in need generate income by repurposing used shoes and clothing often destined for landfills, and instead uses them as a tool to break the cycle of poverty. This long-term approach to fighting poverty gives purpose to shoe and clothing donations and dignity to entrepreneurs all over the world.
Our latest venture is in the Philippines through our partner Seeds of Dignity; an organization that seeks to create partnerships with individuals and communities. Soles4Souls recent micro-enterprise efforts aim to help families and organizations throughout the Davao Region in Mindanao.
One such family is the Bernadas family. Gary, his mother and father Nazario and Perla and their granddaughter Ashely, all live in a squatter community in Davao. Their home is mostly built of cardboard and more recently they’ve been able to reinforce with wood and tin. They share the modest home with four other family members. The main income for the family comes from father Nazario who is a vinegar salesman and roasts pigs. His normal monthly income is $80 USD per month.
The family has been threatened with eviction as they do not own the land. Their hope is to start and sustain a small business selling shoes in order to make enough money to buy the land on which their home sits.
When these photos were taken, Gary and Perla had been selling shoes across the street from a nursing school, attended by semi affluent students. In the 2 hours we stood with them, we watched Gary and Perla sell enough shoes to generate income the family would normally generate in 2-3 months. This was their very first day of selling shoes through our pilot project!