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NZ, CCCI partner to empower solo mothers through technology

THE New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry joined hands in implementing information and communications technology (ICT) and life skills training for solo mothers in Cebu.

Over 150 solo mothers acquired technical knowledge and skills on ICT and other skills in the areas of an entrepreneurial mindset, effective communication, and customer service.

These solo mothers were from various areas in Cebu Province namely Naga, Cordova, Balamban, and Bantayan. “We have been working with the CCCI for years and have seen the positive impact this project has made for solo mothers...

We hope that as our solo mothers take the next step, they continue to build on their skills, develop their networks and share their experience with other women,” New Zealand Ambassador Peter Kell said. The New Zealand government poured in P2.5 million for this project.

With the grant assistance, CCCI provided tablets and internet load cards to the participants to support them in their virtual training. The implementation of the project, however, took a 10-month setback, originally set from June 2019 to September 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The format of the training shifted from face-to-face to virtual mode.

CCCI and the New Zealand government also coordinated with the Department of Information and Communications Technology Visayas Cluster 2 office, local government units, and CCCI chapters in the implementation of the project.

Kell said he was impressed at how these solo mothers gained confidence and became empowered because of the program.

He said by joining training, they have expanded their opportunities to augment their income and pursue their own businesses, creating an alternative career path secondary and complementary to parenting.

Elizabeth Ybañez, executive director at CCCI, said after completing the training these solo mothers landed jobs in English as Second Language where they became homebased teachers while some joined the call center industry. Others opened up their own online stores.

This latest project was inspired by the successful implementation of a smaller program, the Entrepreneurial Training for Young Unmarried Women in Cebu City in 2018, also a joint program of CCCI and the New Zealand of Embassy which graduated 23 solo mothers. Kell hopes this project by the CCCI will be replicated in other parts of the country.