When you have personally experienced poverty, you would understand that to “give back” is not an obligation but a natural flow of love and care for others because you know you have been there before. When you are poor, you have no choice but to fight for your own survival. Others manage to survive, but in general, poor people—no matter how hard they try—find it difficult to make it, because they are not given a chance to rise up from poverty. All they need is a genuine support from others and an opportunity to be able to improve their lives little by little. This is what Wimler is about.
Lack of education and poverty go hand in hand. Acquiring education is the key to break the cycle of poverty. Education is a long-term solution to poverty. According to United Nations, nearly 113 million children are not able to attend primary school. And 264 million children who might be attending secondary schools (the equivalent of high schools) do not. Around one billion adults lack one of the most basic skills taught in schools. In the Philippines, out of every 100 children who enter Grade 1, only 63 will reach Grade 6.
If you are poor, you always have to choose between feeding the children and sending them to school. It is a challenge to have both at the same time. How can children learn effectively when their stomachs are empty? Some children who do not go to school usually end up in the streets and have to cope with the harsh environment in order for them to survive. Those who stay with their parents, usually do menial jobs to augment family income. Some go begging, scavenging, or serving another family in exchange for food and shelter. Sometimes they steal and commit petty crimes. When they grow up, chances are they are also poor. It is harder for the poor to escape from poverty. So generation after generation, these poor people continue to suffer from the lack of basic necessities in life.
With this in mind, Leila Rispens-Noel together with her relatives and friends started Wimler Partnership for Social Progress, assisting the poor families, women and children in Davao del Sur and other parts of Mindanao.
This website tells you what we do in Wimler – modest as they are - and how you can contribute to help poor people improve their lives.
We envision a world where people have access to a decent standard of living and the opportunities to develop their full human potentials and participate actively in building a society where men and women, young and old, live in dignity and without poverty. We envision a world where common people, public and private sectors work hand in hand for mutual benefit by harnessing our natural resources, skills, and opportunities in a sustainable manner that could contribute to improving the quality of life for the present and future generation. We build partnerships for development with like-minded individuals and organizations at the local, national, and international levels.
Our mission is to share, serve, stimulate, facilitate, and build partnerships with like-minded organizations and individuals for sustainable development. We contribute to the development and advancement of the grassroots communities through alternative approaches to socio-economic development, education, capacity building of local communities, and empowerment of women and other vulnerable sector.
Since 2006, WIMLER Philippines has been assisting the education of poor children. Thanks to the support from donors and sponsors of WIMLER Foundation Hong Kong, since 2011, we are able to send more children to school.
Programs: Educational support for less privileged but deserving pupils and students.
Migration is increasingly becoming a livelihood strategy of many poor people from developing countries. Remittances –the money migrant workers send home - are private money and their families and communities whom migrants left behind are the direct beneficiaries. Some migrant-sending countries like the Philippines are largely dependent on remittances, and these have a direct impact on the social structure of the families, household, and community. Migrants are expected to send money back home, and migrants are bound to fulfill this ‘family contract’ despite all the hardships they encounter in their workplace.
How families manage remittances is crucial to the success of migrants but some members of migrants’ families are no longer motivated to find work and rely largely on the money they receive regularly from abroad. This is one of the reasons that migrants are not able to save or invest to secure their own financial future. Consequently, it also impacts the return and reintegration plans of migrant workers.
A large number of Filipino migrant workers return to their country of origin after the end of their contracts without having adequately prepared for their reintegration and without any stable source of income. In many instances, migrant workers go home and find themselves in a similar situation they were in before they found jobs abroad.
Migrants’ remittances can fuel economic growth and fight poverty if properly harnessed. In view of this, WIMLER works with other like-minded organizations to address migration-related issues as well as in harnessing the potentials of migrant’s remittances for countryside development.
Programs: Financial literacy for families left behind and migrant returnees, social entrepreneurship, linking microfinance institutions and Filipino migrants , savings and investment mobilizations, diaspora philanthropy, capacity building of OFWs and families, return and reintegration, policy advocacy.
Job creation through micro and small entrepreneurship is one way to financially empower the poor especially women. WIMLER Philippines believes that by educating the poor on how to manage their meagre resources and debts, and combined with livelihood activities, we can help them rise up from poverty.
In view of this, WIMLER Philippines conducts regular financial literacy courses. It will also conduct various skills training and after the course, coach those serious ones in setting up their businesses.
At present, WIMLER Philippines is assisting a couple of microenterprises in linking their products with prospective markets.
Programs: Financial literacy, entrepreneurship, how to start business enterprise, savings.
The 2013 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) covered around 36 million population aged 6 to 24 years. According to the survey, one in every ten or about 4 million Filipino children and youth was out-of-school in 2013. Out-of-school children is defined in the FLEMMS as persons aged 6 to 14 years who are not attending school while out-of-school youth as persons aged 15 to 24 years who are not attending school, have not finished any college or post secondary course, and are not working.
The 2013 FLEMMS results also showed that of the nearly 4 million out-of-school children and youth, 22.9 percent have entered into union or marriage. Another 19.2 percent cited insufficient family income to send child to school as the reason for not attending school (this refers to all educational expenses other than tuition fee), while 19.1 percent lack the interest in attending school.
Among females, 4 out of every 10 have already entered marriage while 3 in every 10 males have no interest in attending school. The proportion of out-of-school children and youth whose family income was not sufficient to send child to school was 22.7 percent and 17.0 percent, among males and females, respectively.
WIMLER Philippines will give attention to these group of youth by providing them leadership and skills training.
For in-school youth, WIMLER will conduct leadership training with the objective that they develop attitudes and character to become useful and active citizens. We will involve them in reaching out-of-school youth.
Programs: Youth leadership training, summer workcamp, skills training
(Source: Philippine Statistics Authority. https://psa.gov.ph/content/out-school-children-and-youth-philippines-results-2013-functional-literacy-education-and)