sponsor a child

In photos: 6 teen entrepreneurs lifting their parents out of poverty

Meet the teenagers changing their families’ futures.


teen entrepreneurs

The coastal town of Carigara in the Philippines, with its wide rice fields and distant mountains, seems worlds apart from Alan Sugar’s office or the Dragons’ Den. Yet from within this unusual setting tomorrow’s business men and women are emerging thanks to a microfinance cooperative.

teen entrepreneurs

Many of the residents earn a living here at New Carigara Wet Market selling fresh fish and vegetables.

teen entrepreneurs

Amongst the sellers are parents of Compassion-supported children attending Hill of Zion Child Development Centre. Already the poorest of the poor, these families often struggle to make ends meet as they face strong competition from the packed market stalls.

teen entrepreneurs

Seeing their struggles, Pastor Celso responded by setting up a microfinance cooperative to provide small loans to Compassion-supported families. Rather than running the cooperative himself, the pastor placed his trust in these six Compassion-supported teens: Kimberly, Julius, Daisy, Erica, Arrabella and Judylyn. 

teen entrepreneurs

“Our church leaders decided that we should run the show because this is our cooperative anyway, the members and beneficiaries are our parents,” explains Erica.

teen entrepreneurs

The cooperative was set up thanks to an initial investment from the RESPOND fund. Through the hard work of the teenagers that money has now doubled, allowing them to reach more families and buy a laptop to help with their accounting. Pastor Celso is careful to oversee the team, checking their balance sheets on the last Saturday of each month.

Since the cooperative started a year ago, over half of the parents have joined and it’s already making a huge difference. Holding back tears, Erica’s mum, Maria Rose says,


I don’t know any other way to earn a living but to sell fish here [at the local market] and the cooperative has given me a loan so I can sell more and bigger fish.


Maria is the sole bread winner and with ten mouths to feed she worries about her children. “I am very happy for my daughter,” Maria Rose continues. “She studies hard in school and is a leader at church. Her sponsor supports her studies so I don’t have to worry about her anymore.”

teen entrepreneurs

For mums like Narcissa, who owns this tapioca stall, the cooperative helps her earn a more stable source of income. As she explains, “I have been selling food and vegetables [at the local market] since I was 14-years-old. The cooperative has helped me improve my sales. I believe the youth are doing well [in managing our cooperative]. They are helping us have a livelihood and teaching us how to use money well.”

teen entrepreneurs

Kimberly (smiling in the black t-shirt) dreams of becoming an accountant or businesswoman one day and is thankful for the opportunity to learn how to handle money. “We were taught how to identify problems, provide solutions and given the chance to learn how to run a business, which we find very beneficial for us,” she explains.

teen entrepreneurs

“Kimberly and her team are doing well,” says Pastor Celso. “This cooperative is not just an exercise in leadership and accounting skills, but a legitimate business that could turn out to be their source of income in the future. There is potential for this to grow if they do their best. And as of now, just one year after, we are proud of these young people.”

We love to see the children and young people in our programme flourish. And thanks to RESPOND we can find creative ways to invest that not only benefits the children but also their wider family and community. 

Find out more

WORDS : Emily Laramy, Edwin Estioko

PHOTOS : Edwin Estioko


Article Comments

ARTICLE COMMENTS

Leave a comment

Leave A Comment

Leave A Comment

MORE STORIES FOR YOU

21Nov

Visit the town that cut malaria child deaths to zero

Discover how Compassion is fighting malaria in Togo.


, ,

30Oct

Conjunctivitis outbreak in Honduras

An outbreak of severe conjunctivitis has been reported across several regions in Honduras.


24Oct

Meet the Ghanaian kids who deserve star baker

In Assin Bereku, Ghana, an extraordinary group of children are baking bread for their classmates.


13Oct

Why doesn’t Compassion work in conflict zones?

3 reasons why we work in more stable communities.


28Sep

The great-grandpa living in a carpark to provide for his grandson

“My great-grandpa Mateo is the best person I have ever known. He has given me everything.”


21Sep

The future firefighter

The orphan who refuses to give up in the face of tragedy.


14Sep

Why help people in other countries when there is poverty in the UK?

6 things to consider as you struggle through this question.


6Sep

The big poverty quiz: test your knowledge!

Put yourself to the test – how much do you know about the issues facing the world’s most vulnerable children?


, ,

31Aug

What’s in your school bag? 15 photos from around the world.

At the start of a new term, children from Togo to Peru give us a peek into their school rucksacks!


29Aug

Update: Fire in the Philippines

Fire in the Philippines destroyed the homes of 18 Compassion sponsored children


, , ,

23Aug

How to teach children about poverty

How can we talk to our children about the sadness and complexities of poverty in an age-appropriate way?


, ,