In the person of Candelaria Flores, we have a devoted house wife who turned private financier to help the less fortunate in their community. Through the influence of her husband, Candelaria joined AHON SA HIRAP, INC. ( ASHI) way back in 1999 to obtain additional capital for her Sari-Sari store. Mr. Flores, then employed as security guard in a private bank had heard so many positive feedback about how ASHI assists the poor to rise above poverty, so he persuaded his wife to join ASHI. Although the Floreses had some means, they were struggling financially because they had six children to raise and send to school. They were sorely in need of additional income to support their growing family.
Their first business was a sari-sari store which to Candelaria was a convenient way to assist her husband financially while being able to stay home and attend to their children. In their partnership, Mr Flores disclosed that Candelaria was the treasurer. He surrendered his entire earnings to her and she took care of budgeting as well as dispensing with their meager incomes.
As a member of ASHI, Candelaria was faithful to her trust. She paid her loans regularly and promptly, and was an ideal member in the ASHI Center where she reported every week. This naturally led to higher loans. When ASHI opened up a P20,000 loan ceiling for her, Candelaria thought it an opportunity to venture into a new business New Business
Candelaria started her tricycle business with a P20,000 loan. She hired a tricycle driver with the acquisition of her first tricycle. The idea of rent a tricycle-to-own came to her one day when she realized that her driver would have no future if she did not provide for him. Discussing this idea with her husband, the couple agreed that it was a great way to share their blessings with less fortunate families in the community. It would offer them a small profit but delivered a great impact on the lives of people. The scheme was to find a responsible driver and to rent the tricycle for P130 a day for 3 years after which the driver can bring the tricycle home. Candelaria applied the scheme with a big heart. On bad days when the driver could not pay for the boundary fee of P130 she would allow them to make up for it the next day. Candelaria saw the advantage in their scheme – since the drivers would become eventual owners of the vehicle, they took care of the tricycle as if it were their own and drove it carefully. Candelaria did not have any problems with undue repairs and maintenance.
According to Candelaria, as soon as she found a suitable driver, she would purchase a tricycle on installment; furnish it with a side car, making sure that the vehicle was durable as well as presentable. She did not want to have an ugly looking buggy plying the streets. She wanted them good looking.
From one tricycle, the Flores couple were able to purchase 7 tricycle units, 5 of which are now fully owned by the drivers with the registration papers in their respective names. Candelaria glows with pride and glee relating how grateful the drivers are.
To be able to own a tricycle, these drivers would have to hurdle the following daunting steps:
1.Get a permit to drive a trike. 2.Raise a hefty sum to put up the down payment to get a trike on installment. 3.Put up with the monthly payments.
Candelaria’s scheme cut these hurdles up in small bites, making it reachable to the very poor.
As a member of ASHI, Candelaria developed her leadership qualities. In ASHI she was awarded Best Member when she was just a member. Serving as inspiration to her co-members in the center, it is no surprise that she was eventually elected Center Chief, to manage the entire center. In that position, she won the Best Center Chief award, besting other Center Chiefs in Antique. Where ever she serves, be it as PTA President, Candelaria leads in a manner that grows respect for her among her constituency.
Candelaria’s success is amazing. She brought up six children to become responsible citizens who will no longer be considered poor while attending to a growing business. In the community, she was elected Barangay Councilor where she is serving her last term.
The Floreses are aspiring to eventually venture into the ready-to-wear (RTW) business. Candelaria dreams of having a display center beside the electronic shop of her son in the commercial district of the town proper. In her mind, this will be the final business to rest her laurels on. Four of her six children are already on their own: one is a Development Officer in ASHI, one is an elementary school teacher, while two are cellphone technicians. Only two are still schooling: one is a second year Computer Engineering student, and the youngest is a first year Aviation Electronics student.
Blessings for the Flores family overflow. They have been able to build a house with strong materials.