The Lifebank Foundation team headed by Mrs. Berna Halonghong (Acting Dept. Head, Sustainable Development Department), Carla Bien S. Pineda (Program Supervisor), and April Daraug (Program Associate), conducted a due diligence visit to Antique Cluster to formally meet the members and the ESSA’s prototype cluster community for the year 2022-2023. The LBF team introduced themselves and why they wanted finally meet the cluster whom they have heard so many things about. The members of the Antique Cluster also introduced themselves and how they became a part of the cluster and why they resonated with ESSA’s mission and vision. One of the highlights of the meeting was when Mam Berna expressed Lifebank Foundations’ goal of breaking the chain of poverty and that they are here to ensure that income generated from the microfinance borrowers (who are mainly women) would go back through community projects. The statement strengthened the resolve and reinvigorated the sense of responsibility of the cluster to ensure that the projects and activities involve the surrounding community which in a way they have already done and will continue to do more.
The activity proposals that will be conducted in Antique were also discussed to further clarify and improve the strategy and expected outcome. The group also visited the site where Dihon Sa ‘Raya, a Steiner-inspired school will be established that is beside a permaculture farm and is surrounded by an eco-community.
Lifebank Foundation Inc. is the network’s main funding partner. The foundation is also looking to support sustainable development initiatives that are aligned with the foundations key focus area which are education, health and DDRM, sustainable agriculture, local governance, and innovation and incubation. You can learn more on their website.