Dignity Coconuts: Affirming Dignity in the Philippines
Dignity isn’t something we can give to others; it is something we must acknowledge in one another. While poverty violates people’s dignity, the opportunity to work affirms their worth and capabilities.
Dignity Coconuts is a social enterprise in our network that seeks to affirm dignity by ending poverty and slavery in the Philippines. They operate in a rural community with widespread poverty. In a recent survey of the community, they found that 94% of people experience a food shortage at least one month of the year, 95% have no savings for the future, and 84% make less than $110 USD per year.
There is evident brokenness embedded in these statistics. But opposed to dwelling on what this community lacks, the founders of Dignity Coconut focus on the many assets—including coconuts.
Utilizing this valuable natural resource, Dignity Coconuts produces raw, organic coconut oil. Today, they employ 86 people from the community. Their structure includes employees in profit shares and ownership, and they re-invest profits in community development initiatives.
Employee Angelita Tolosa shares: “I gain more confidence in myself and there is now hope that our family can see. I know that my child can go to high school because I have regular work…And for Dignity Coconuts, thank you very much for giving us hope.”
In addition to their social mission, Dignity Coconuts is also committed to environmental sustainability and is on the path to becoming zero waste. So far, they have trained over 200 farmers in organic farming techniques and have planted 55,000 coconut seedlings for the next generation of coconut trees.
As a member in Partners Worldwide’s global network, Dignity Coconuts has benefited from the mentoring and access to capital we provide. They are also a current investment of PW Entrepreneurs, a social investment fund that furthers our mission to end poverty for good.
With a former board member hatching the idea, Partners Worldwide has been alongside Dignity Coconuts from the beginning. We are excited to continue our partnership, walking alongside them as they make space for dignity to plant new roots where poverty once stood.
Partners Worldwide partners with businesses like Dignity Coconuts to help create jobs, end poverty, and positively impact communities around the world. Join us by purchasing a jar of Dignity Coconuts’ raw, organic coconut oil online or in the baking aisle at your local Meijer store.