Archives For CCT

Each year, HOPE celebrates a client who demonstrates HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing the Thurman Award winner. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO and his wife, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be posting the stories of this year’s honorable mentions and overall winner.

Though she’s small in stature, Dolorosa Santos is a giant in her passion for serving the Lord through business. The owner of a variety of enterprises in bustling Quezon City, the Philippines, Dolorosa dreams of providing employment within her community—and of using her work to share God’s love with others.

Dolorosa owned several businesses by the time she took out her first loan in 2005 from the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), HOPE’s partner. Her sari-sari (convenience) store provided neighbors everything from toiletries to soy sauce, eggs, and shoe polish. Dolorosa also owned a motorcycle and attached sidecar, a common form of transportation known as a tricycle, which she rented to drivers so they could earn an income providing taxi services.

Ever an entrepreneur, Dolorosa used loans from CCT to expand. She bought additional tricycles, growing her fleet to six. Realizing that tricycles were in constant need of repair because of the poor quality of the roads, she began selling spare parts. Dolorosa also noticed that her neighborhood supports several thriving sari-sari stores, creating an opportunity to supply other shops at wholesale prices.

Dolorosa

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My focus here in Philippines has shifted: earlier in my trip I visited CCT’s programs and saw their ministry firsthand. Now the emphasis is on leadership training. I am here with leaders and board members of Christian development ministries from around the world. We have moved out of downtown Manila and are now in Tagaytay, which is about 50 miles outside of town. It is a beautiful setting. CCT has a retreat center here where they host visitors and bring staff members for all sorts of training.

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On my trip to the Philippines, I was privileged to visit microfinance client meetings with HOPE’s partner CCT. Microfinance is CCT’s largest ministry, and senior leaders refer to it as the “backbone” or “platform” on which their other outreach programs reside. We visited groups in a poor section of Manila near the national prison. Our first meeting was with “Fellowship Group 23,” a group of 19 women (joined by two kids, a cat, and a rooster), all dressed in red shirts to show solidarity with one another.

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The staff of CCT, HOPE’s partner in the Philippines, value savings and seek holistic transformation for families and communities so enthusiastically that they have pioneered a new twist on the HOPE savings model: savings groups for children. CCT savings facilitators have initiated groups for teens, elementary students, and even preschoolers. The idea took shape when mothers requested that their children join groups so they could learn the discipline of saving from a young age, which, like most habits, becomes easier and more permanent.

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Cindy

Rejected by family and friends after escaping a drug addiction, Cindy – with her husband Arnaldo and daughter Jenny – lived isolated in a small shack. Desperate to earn an income, they borrowed money from moneylenders whose unreasonable rates plunged them further into debt. Then Cindy sought a loan from CCT, HOPE’s partner in the Philippines, and, touched by what her loan officer shared, accepted Jesus into her heart.  A physical and spiritual transformation began, resulting in a profitable business and reconciliation with her estranged family. “[God] saw me, came to me, and upheld me. He really loves me,” Cindy testifies.