There is no better love than a mother’s love. Each mother may have different ways of expressing care and love for their children. No matter what we do, we know that our mom will always be there for us. Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) tries to imitate this kind of unconditional love that mothers have for their children and their family.
Majority of NWTF’s clients are mothers, women who are known to be selfless and resilient especially when it comes to their families’ needs. Today, we want to honor and celebrate our Dungganon mothers.
Corazon “Cora” Henares, Dungganon Bank President, one of the three founders of Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation describes a Dungganon mother to be somebody who takes care of her family. She worries about their future, their education, their health, and how to provide for them every day.
No different from a real life mother, NWTF tasked itself to enable women, especially a mother to realize “that she (dungganon mothers) can achieve something for herself and by herself,” Cora added. NWTF also helps them realize their self-worth and that apart from a mother’s role as the light of the family, they can be something more.
Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation provides women, single women and mothers alike, financial services like giving loans for them to use as capital to fund their business, but more importantly, NWTF offers self -enhancement opportunities and trainings as well as insurance and health & wellness services to cater to their needs.
“Opening up windows of opportunities for them, made them excited to achieve something, they really ‘blossomed’ because of those experiences, and they became self-confident and empowered; I guess that is the best term that I can use, that we have empowered women through these activities that us at NWTF, have provided
for them,” Cora shared.
MILESTONES and CHALLENGES
What she considers as their first milestone was when she saw that the mothers were starting to realize that they should not just wait to be provided for by their husband; “that they are partners and that they can be providers as well.” She added that, “The women liked the idea that they are partners with their husband and that they have a voice.”
Cora recounts the early years of NWTF and shared that one of their proudest moments would be when they see their clients grow their business and when they have become real entrepreneurs.
“Like this one lady, one client that we had who used to sell dried fish and then she became an exporter, because of exposure to markets and all that, she vacuum packed her products and now she’s exporting her dried fish abroad,” she recalled.
Cora happily reminisced, “We also had a client who is now our landlady, she used to sell banana cue at the sidewalk, later on she bought the lot behind the sidewalk where she was staying [selling], and then she was able to put a business there and it grew and grew until she was able to put up a building so we rented a space in her building to put up our office, and now she’s watching our ATM machines all the time.”
“These are things that would not have happened if she had not joined us, and this is a client who started with us, on our second or third year when we started microfinance,” she added.
Their stories of success, “encouraged us and made us proud,” Cora gleefully said.
Dungganon mothers have experienced so many difficulties from concerns about health, failures and loss of business. NWTF does not abandon them but continues to encourage and help them, as the organization knows their struggles.
“As long as we’re persistent in our aspirations, I think we will overcome [the challenges],” she added.
FEARS AND DREAMS
“My biggest fear is that the client becomes complacent, that she finds the struggle to be too much for her and just sits back and wait,” Cora shared.
She added that a certain amount of struggle is good because it allows people to think more, create more ideas, and try new things. She noted that there is danger in the “I can’t make it!” way of thinking, because that line of thinking in itself is self-defeating.
When asked about her dreams for NWTF’s clients; single women and mothers in entirety, she has this to say: “My dream for the clients is that they face the challenges and the struggles that they are experiencing now, [and] to face it with courage because in the end everything will turn out well, if we just put our minds and our hearts into what we are doing and if we just believe in ourselves.”
This is a timely message for everyone who is experiencing difficulties, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic that has affected the entire world.
Being one of the mothers of NWTF, Cora also has a message to everyone in the NWTF family, “That NWTF will continue to serve our clients and that we will grow into an institution that really shows that it cares and that we do our business, in a way that is very conscious of the environment and social issues.”
She hopes that Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation stay true to its dream of an economically sustainable future for everybody with social and environmental programs as its focus.
With the Mother’s Day being celebrated today, Cora can’t help but recollect her memories with her mom, sharing that her mom was never the clingy type and her expression of love was different from other mothers but was supportive of her and her siblings growing up, “she encouraged us with whatever talent we have, and took care of us, that is why we grew up to be independent and quite purposeful with what we are doing; trying new things because it was encouraged in the house,” she added.
Cora encourages all the client’s and all mothers out there to give their children a chance to be whoever they want to be but also noted that discipline is an essential tool to mold them into becoming a person of character.
She ended the interview with a message for everyone on Mother’s Day, “In behalf of Ms. Ching, the board of directors, all the staff and officers of Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, we would like to greet you a Happy Mother’s Day! and think of your mothers too because they made us what we are,” Cora happily said.