STORY OF Kasandra Arkesa

It was such a big blessing for Kasandra Arkesa (Not her real name) that she was able to venture into the business of planting mushrooms. Kasandra is a housewife and a mother of five children. She lives in Barangay Marapangi, Toril, Davao City. The opportunity came to her when Love the Children Foundation thru Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) program offered a free livelihood training on Mushroom Planting last August 7, 2013. MCCT is a program affiliated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development which aims to maximize the reach of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the government. Amalia is one of the beneficiaries of MCCT.

Kasandra has been an active member for 9 months and has consistently complied with all the requirements of the said program. She regularly attends Family Development Session (FDS) and very participative in every activities conducted.

Moreover, Kasandra is one of the best beneficiaries of MCCT. That is why when it was announced to them that there will be a livelihood training, she did not miss the opportunity. With the strong will to be more knowledgeable about the mushroom business, Kasandra attended another training on how to make cultured mushrooms. After thorough training, she decided to start mushroom planting at her backyard. After twelve days, Kasandra already harvested the first batch of mushrooms. She harvests two kilos of mushroom every day for 3 weeks since then.

Kasandra sells her mushroom for 80-90 pesos per kilo. In the short span of 3 weeks that she’s been harvesting and selling mushroom, Kasandra received another great blessing from the Lord. Eden Nature Park granted her the opportunity to be their supplier of cultured mushroom. They asked her to deliver at least 10 kilos of mushroom daily. However, Kasandra could not meet their demand because she is all alone in growing cultured mushroom; she needs additional manpower if she wants to comply the requirement of Eden Nature Park. With her sole effort, she can only supply 2 kilos of mushroom everyday.

Because of this, Kasandra shared her ideas to other MCCT program beneficiaries. She encouraged her fellow members to grow cultured mushroom so that they can achieve the demand of Eden. Presently, MCCT staff are assisting her in encouraging other beneficiaries in the community to join her in meeting the growing demands in the market. They agreed that they would like to make a mushroom project at their area in Barangay Marapangi. This is not only in the purpose of meeting the demands for mushroom, but more so with the desire to help other members of the community in earning money to sustain the needs of their family.

The training opened doors to people like Kasandra who is dedicated to rise up against poverty and determined to toil in order to make a living, and not merely by receiving cash grants from the government. Kasandra is a living proof of the saying “Whatever you sow, you will reap.” We praise and thank GOD that he used Love the Children Foundation as an instrument in helping those who are in need, not only by giving them fish for one meal to survive a day but by teaching them how to fish to survive not just a day but for many years. Cheers to more years of honoring GOD!