EMPOWERING WOMEN THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP
In line with Australia’s commitment to promoting women empowerment, the Australian Embassy celebrated International Women’s Month recently with a grant to help empower women through entrepreneurship.
Through its Direct Aid Program (DAP), the Embassy provided funding support to the food processing project of the Kaisahang Buhay Foundation’s (KBF) Nazareth Home for Single Mothers, a halfway home for young expectant mothers.
Mrs Wendy Jeffery, wife of Australian Ambassador Tony Hely, presented the cooking and baking equipment to KBF Executive Director Rosario dela Rosa. Mrs Jeffery lauded the KBF’s objectives and efforts in “empowering women and helping them realise their potential and fulfil their aspirations through the promotion of personal and socio-economic development”. The KBF expressed their gratitude to Mrs Jefferey and the Australian Embassy with a Certificate of Appreciation and specially-prepared performances by the women.
The DAP-funded program will enrich the women with practical skills for future livelihood endeavours. The project also gives them an opportunity to engage in an income-generating project in preparation for their discharge from the centre. With the equipment the women will learn how to make puto, macaroons, peanut butter, longganisa, tocino, and candies, among many others, to be sold to nearby institutions like hospitals, schools, social welfare and residential care facilities, and religious organisations The different activities of the food processing project will also serve as work therapy for the women.
True to the organization’s name - which stands for oneness within the family and a meaningful life for the children it serves - the KBF’s Nazareth Home for Single Mothers offers a nurturing environment to expectant mothers in especially difficult circumstances. Currently housing twenty women, the Home provides shelter, food, pre-natal support, delivery and post-natal care, work therapy, spiritual formation, financial assistance, case work, and after care.
The DAP-funded community complements the gender policy of Australia’s international aid program which aims to improve women's access to education and health care; improve women's access to economic resources; promote women's participation and leadership in decision making at all levels; promote the human rights of women; and assist efforts to eliminate discrimination against women.
In the Philippines, Australia supports women development through its Australian Agency for International Aid’s (AusAID) Development Cooperation Program, which acknowledges the central role of Filipino women in the country’s development. The program aims to empower women through better health, education and livelihood opportunities.