Mary Jane shared a shanty with her husband’s siblings in a fishing village. Living conditions were poor and unhealthy, especially for their children. Their worst fears were realized when their first-born was struck by Dengue Fever (break bone fever), a mosquito-borne tropical disease that has the potential to be fatal if not treated. Mary Jane turned to her father to help pay for hospital bills and other expenses, but the money soon ran out. She had no one else to turn to for help. She resorted to treating her child with local, herbal medicine that eventually cured the sick child. The experience, however, left her fearful of the future. She needed the tools and capacity to take control of their lives. She used her initial loan of PhP3,000 to finance their small fishing business and used the balance as additional capital for fish vending. Eight years after her first loan with Project Dungganon, Mary Jane and her husband Randolf built their own home, 3 pump boats operated by 13 anglers, a motorcycle and a small delivery truck. They earn enough to invest in their business, live comfortably, and contribute regularly to a savings fund for their children’s education and keep an emergency fund for unexpected, yet oftentimes inevitable events.

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