Al Senoro is a mechanical engineer by profession. His wife, Mae, works as a marketing specialist for a corporation in the Philippines. They own a small farm that produces organic vegetables, turmeric and cucumber juice, and they have a rice milling station and water refilling station. Much of what they have established is a result of hard work and, as they said, what they learned from the PW Microenterprise Curriculum training. Al was one of the trainees during the Train the Trainers PW conducted in the last quarter of 2019. Even then, Al was a very enthusiastic learner, participating actively during each session. Seeing what they have accomplished over the previous two years is truly amazing!
When we visited them last November, they shared how they managed the pandemic. At the onset of the pandemic, Al said that they revisited their training modules and tried to apply each mindset as they navigated their business. He developed a business strategy canvas together with his wife to address some of the needs they saw in their community. Soon after, their farm met the market's need and provided organic vegetables that help boost the immune system, which helps fight the COVID-19 virus. Through social media, they could promote their farm and its produce. Another opportunity also presented itself to them, as they partnered with the local government to promote their fresh organic turmeric juice and cucumber juice. Since they were making juices, they also saw the need to ensure that the water source was good. They established a water station that supplies the water they need for their product and provides water to the community and jobs to more families.
In the study conducted by the Asian Development Bank regarding the impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium-sized enterprises) in developing Asia, they noted that because of the strict lockdowns, the majority of MSMEs in the Philippines had a decline in revenue, forcing others to close down. With this study, we asked the Senoro's how the pandemic has impacted their business, to which they confidently answered, "while other businesses are surviving, we can say that we are thriving!" What a fantastic testimony to hear and witness.
In addition, they now have ten paid staff from employing four people, which means they can provide dignified work and livelihood to ten families.
As we continue to catch up with the Senoro's, we can't help but smile and be grateful for what God is doing in and through their business. When asked about their "why," they chimed with their slogan -- loving health. Promoting their love for health translates to their love for life, love for others, and love for the community. When they think about success, they measure it not on their income but by how many lives they are able to transform. Mae Senoro said it best when she said: "We are very happy with your support; the monetary is one, but the values you have instilled in us – especially with Al – the values that were instilled in him. Whatever blessings come to us is really according to His will, and we are just stewards of His creation. That's the most important thing!"
The Senoro farm is blessed to be a blessing! Engineer Al not only applies what he learned from the training to his own business, but he also passes it on as a curriculum coach for Katuwang. We are delighted that we get to journey with them as they pursue a world without poverty through business!