At the beginning of the year, we wanted to do an onsite visit or an actual exploratory trip with people who were interested to learn and get involved with Partners Worldwide and our partner Samaritana Transformation Ministries. However, when we started inviting for the onsite visit, some still felt unsafe to travel outside their homes because of COVID-19. So, we decided to convert it to a virtual exploratory trip (VET). After a few meetings and coordination with Samaritana, we finalized the date and time as well as the content of the hybrid “Hello, PW” and Exploratory Trip.
We tied the VET with the Training of Trainers for the staff and women leaders of Samaritana. The Philippines Partnership Manager and now Regional Director, Eli Toribio, along with Partners Worldwide Southeast Asia Board Member, Ed Rivera, facilitated the three-day, in person Microenterprise Curriculum Training at the facility of Samaritana in Quezon City last February 17-19, 2021. There were eight staff of Samaritana, two youth entrepreneurs, and eight survivors of sex trafficking, who participated in the training.
With strict protocols to follow related to gatherings, the trainees and the trainers wore face masks and face shields and practiced social distancing. They were also assigned to sit according to each business strategy or livelihood program Samaritana is developing. These livelihood programs are Urban Gardening, Housekeeping Services, Facemasks Production, and House Rugs Weaving. It was encouraging to watch the women survivor’s step-up in confidence, share their vision and business strategies to the big group.
The training was slated to be completed during the 3-days, but with the participants being highly engaged and motivated, they decided to add one-full day training sometime May or as soon as the travel restrictions in the Philippines’ eases. This would also allow the participants to have some time to process their learnings and apply these to help shape their business strategies.
After their class on the third day, we proceeded to host the VET which we conducted in the facilities of Samaritana too. We had eight people join us that afternoon and we used this virtual exploratory trip to introduce Partners Worldwide and our partner Samaritana. After the presentations from Partners Worldwide and Samaritana, we gave them a virtual tour of the facilities. Which the participants enjoyed and were excited to see. Through the VET we have enlisted four people to become part of the core members of the BA team for Samaritana.
Like the tagline for one of the enterprises of Samaritana, the House Rugs Weaving “Weaving Dreams Together”, we are excited to see how God will weave our stories together. And how through our partnership with them, we would be able to provide the support and added value so they can launch or facilitate the launching of their enterprises!