By bringing more jobs to an area with high rates of unemployment, we start to see transformation. We see families reunite. We see children have the chance to be educated. We see disease rates lower. More jobs mean more hope for the future.
In the seaside village of Bicol, we employ 150 staff at our plant and buy coconuts from 300 local farmers. Each represents a family who has a stable income therefore impacting over 2000 people in the local community.
In addition, as we bring jobs to the area, others are drawn to bring their business to the same area. We have already seen businesses branch out to our area, thus creating even more jobs.
When we say we are out there, we mean it. Many times we have heard from Filipinos, "You're building way out there in the villages of Bicol? Why?" From a business perspective, the logistics are tough. We have to transport literally tons of equipment and product over small, often unpaved roads many kilometers away.
The government officials in the area have taken notice of what we are doing. They see the hope and economic benefit that we bring to the community. We gave them a good reason to improve the roads into and around our province. Now, our big trucks can transport easier, especially in rainy times. The road in front of our plant went from dirt to pavement. We are paving the way for other businesses to join us in being "out there."
When the water in your village makes your kids sick, where do you turn? If you can't get clean and safe water, how do you thrive?
Our baseline survey found that clean water is a huge need in Bicol. So we are developing solutions: a water purification unit to bring to each household so that they can gather water and filter it for their families. Additionally, we have determined the location of contaminated and uncontaminated water. Turns out no matter how many wells we drill, if the water underneath is not clean, we will not be helping. Because our manufacturing method depends on pure water resources, we are doing the work of finding the clean water and drilling for it. This valuable information can be shared with the community to empower them to dig in the right spots.