Beginnings: A consortium for poverty alleviation, particularly the Higaunon Tribal Community
The Higaunon Tribal community of Claveria Misamis Oriental and the urban poor paper makers of Cagayan de Oro city, Philippines will now have a better quality of life through commitments made by Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper (CDOH) and Australian Government Aid (AUSAID).
CDOH is an export company since 1993 that applies its core business expertise to achieve sustainable solutions to development. The company has been endowed a substantial amount last October 2008 by AUSAID’S Enterprise Challenge Fund Program to embark on its project: Expansion of abaca supply sourcing and the handmade paper manufacturing facilities of Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper. It is a three-year pilot project wherein the private sector is given a chance to play a big role in reducing poverty in disadvantaged communities while enhancing its own business performance.
“We believe that our business model, products and services will help alleviate disadvantaged communities, we look forward to making a significant and sustainable impact.” said Luchi Cabanlet, President and Founder of CDOH.
The project should contribute long-term economic growth, and stability through its three main components:
1. To increase incomes of the Indigenous Peoples (theHigaunon Tribe) of Claveria, Misamis, Oriental and Malitbog,Bukidnon by sourcing abaca fi bres from their lands and fostering export of abaca fi bre and abaca based products.
2. To expand handmade paper manufacturing and craft making facilities of Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper
3. To contribute to the capacity building, training and poverty alleviation of the local communities.
The consortium partners, Manibay Higaonon Tribal Cooperative is responsible for the Abaca Plantation establishment and Mindanao Socio-econmic Development Foundation (MSDF) takes part in training/ capacity building and poverty alleviation projects.
Capacity Building Trainings:
1. Abaca Nursery Management
2. Abaca Stripping Machine Operations
3. Abaca Classification, grading, weighing and bailing
4. Paper making
5. Crafts making: bags, boxes, cards, photo album
6. Staff development
7. Cluster Management
8. Cluster Standardaztion
1. Administration of Scholarship Program and Medicinal Services
2. Democratization of CDOH (Company ownership)
3. Livelihood programs
4. Savings program
The project as it is ongoing will help to prove that Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs) /companies can serve as a link for rural development. The consortium of organizations: CDOH, MSDF, AUSAID and Manibay Higaonon Tribal Cooperative is testimony of mobilized resources to help bring about sustainability in influence to low-income societies. The overall vision is that through CDOH and its partners, the pilot business model will uphold entrepreneurial spirit, and generate income among the impoverished communities.