Together with the ZABIDA FSP Team, ZABIDA Mentors of the Income Generating Initiatives visited local communities in Zamboanga Sibugay for a cross-learning session from August 13-14, 2022. The visits were learning opportunities about the many facets of the community’s organizational functioning.
Community exposure of the mentors gives chance to learn at higher levels of learning via interacting with the association leaders and members about their organizational management and development, the type of enterprises they are operating, and discussions with the members about their organizational process and interventions of sustainability through their savings from their livelihood activities. It supports mentors to receive first-hand knowledge of the community’s projects, allowing them to develop their skills and expertise while also attaining the experience necessary for specialization in terms of mentoring their IGI’s projects.
On the first day of the exposure trips, mentors had the chance to sail on the coastal lagoon of Karunungan sa Gagmay Mangingisda sa Concepcion (KGMC) projects, which was assisted by Mr. Robert (“Ka Dodoy”) Ballon, President of the association. A tour was given of the association’s 144-hectare mangrove forest at Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay. The team was able to enjoy the freshness of the association’s Talaba, Tagnipis, and Lapu-lapu culture, which are their major products in the association.
After lunch, the team met with KGMC members and shared information with them about organizational membership, policies, and livelihood sustainability, as well as how members can take ownership of the organization, the importance of the leader’s community-driven intentions, and how to participate in the various interventions that the organization provides.
The second day of the cross-learning visits took place at the Buluan Women’s Association, where most of the community members engaged in farming and mari-culture, with majority being seaweed producers in the area.
The meeting began with an introduction to everyone, started with Mr. Felix Badon, the locality’s MENRO. He served as the organization’s organizer and gave a brief overview and history of how the Women originated as an organization, as well as what assistance and services they provided to the organization, along with introducing the association’s members to the group. Women association have recently focused on consolidating marine products in the community as part of their entrepreneurship initiatives. Discussion with the members was concluded about their saving club’s standards and step-by-step method or guidelines on how they were able to raise their share and profit as a member of the organization.
The two-day learning exposure was a very productive experience with many realizations and learning, particularly on the implementation of guidelines and policies and how values and disciplines truly important to all members of the organizations. Best practices mainly on their Savings club’s initiative, which may apply or be replicated to IGI’s own livelihood associations.
The ZABIDA Enterprise Income Generating Initiatives (IGI) seeks to form a core of mentors to reinforce and equip among the taught entrepreneurs as a consequence of the establishment of training modules and an operating manual for clustering community-based firm growth. This is in partnership with line agencies such as DOLE, DTI, OCA-BUB, OCVET, and private sector institutions.