Judith smiling in her vegetable stall in the Philippines.

Building Relationships through a Bountiful Harvest

Judith, 46, wakes up at two o’clock in the morning, gathers her vegetables, loads them onto her delivery tricycle and leaves homes to sell them at the markets in neighbouring towns. She is out until about eleven o’clock in the morning. This is Judith’s work routine on market days; Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. From the market, Judith heads to her vegetable stall located at the highway a few meters from her house.

“The day’s work selling vegetables is very tiring,” shares Judith. “But I enjoy meeting customers. It gives me the opportunity to create good relationships with them, even if they are strangers. I make more friends.”

In the morning of the days that are not market days, Judith cultivates a variety of vegetables like eggplant, cucumber and bitter gourd in her farm. She goes back to her vegetable stall in the afternoon.

Judith supports her three children. Her husband, Freddie, works in a local parish church.  

Through Community Economic Ventures, Inc. (CEVI) a partner of VisionFund International, Judith was able to finance other sources of income. “I took a loan worth 5,000 PhP (USD 100) and bought pigs. After four months, I sold the pigs and bought a sidecar for our motorcycle, which we use as a delivery vehicle for our vegetables,” she shares. 

Judith’s delivery tricycle enables her to carry loads of vegetables on market days to different municipalities, whereas before, she used to have to spend money to hire a delivery vehicle for the same purpose. Now, she is able to save. She took another loan and bought more vegetables to sell and stock in her stall.

Judith and her husband Freddie in their vegetable stall in the Philippines

With her savings, Judith has been able to provide school supplies and school uniforms for her children. Her eldest child, Francis, is in ninth grade. “My son, Francis, plays basketball well. But his dream is to become a seaman,” says Judith with pride. “I want all my children to finish their schooling and follow up with a degree programme of their choice. This will give them a bright future.”

Judith is the chairman of her loan cluster. This gives her the responsibility to lead and support other entrepreneurs like her.

In the future, Judith plans to buy a jeep for her husband Freddie to transport passengers. This would help her create more income for the family and bring her closer to fulfilling her children’s dreams.