Marilyn works as one of the inspectors in our VCO production line. Prior to being employed at Dignity, her husband was the only one earning a living for their family of 6 kids. Marilyn explains, "He is a fisherman but only has a fishing rod and very small boat with no motor and a leak that cannot be repaired. Because of his insufficient equipment, he cannot go far away from the shore for fear of being sunk by the waves. This leaves him with only a minimal catch, often just enough to feed the family for one day."
The most difficult times comes during the Southwest Monsoon (“Habagat”) period when the waves in the sea are very high from June to August. No one can go fishing during this season. Marilyn and her family had to resort to eating only porridge just to get by. The children's’ schooling was also affected as they were unable to pay tuition costs. Because of these struggles, their hearts & minds were restless.
Desperate to survive, they had no choice but to borrow money from lenders with high interest rates or to borrow/credit goods from nearby small grocery stores for their sustenance. Sometimes, they were being rejected by the lenders & stores who claimed they had no money or goods to lend because they did not trust that Marilyn and her husband could pay it back.
Since Marilyn began working at Dignity, the future has become clearer and brighter for her family. She is able to help her husband raise money not only for their daily needs but also for savings for the future. They were able to buy some of their household/kitchen utensils, slowly pay back debts, and finance their brand new boat. Her husband can now go further out to sea where the fish are larger and more abundant, greatly increasing his income. Their neighbors see them in a new light.
Merchants are now the ones offering them goods on a cash or credit basis. School fees are being paid on time and they are able to pay for additional school projects that increase learning for their children. Their hope to have a better house is within reach as they are now saving money to buy renovation materials. One of Marilyn’s dreams is to be able to buy a fishing net for her husband to make his job easier and more fruitful. She says their lives are now characterized by peace of mind, happiness, and great hope for the days ahead.