Maria for MDGs


The project is focused at mobilizing rural women towards running their own collective social enterprise and at enabling individual women entrepreneurs’ access to local markets. Through a multi-stakeholder approach, the project wishes to create sustainable networks  between senders and receivers of remittances and to reinforce the capacities to further the impact  of remittances on local communities.


• After 18 months: 1200 women gender sensitivity training, 240 finished organizational development and 200 underwent business orientation
• 200 women entrepreneurs have been provided with business services by rural banks/MFIs or coops
• 6 LGUs have co-implemented Maria projects (MoUs signed and projects identified)
• 40 Diaspora investors have been trained
• women associations and coops have been formed
• remittance receivers (migrant families) have been organized
• commitment given by Congress and national government departments in sustaining Maria coops


• Social preparation of sites, training and enterprise mobilization of rural women
• Mobilization of Diaspora and European counterparts to engage in rural women enterprises
• Co-development platforms for rural development prepared and established

OrganisationDamayang Pilipino
Organisation typeMigrant Organisation
  • Capital investment (Business/SME)
  • Microfinance
  • Philanthropy
  • Philippines
  • South East Asia

• women associations
• local government units
• Diaspora organizations

Financial contributors


Local ownership

The organization was confronted during the implementation phase with a patriarchal society, which was not used to see the women of the community taking on entrepreneurial responsibilities as well having a stronger decision-making power because of their larger portion of income for the household. After the local market was vandalized for a first time, the organization made sure to act swiftly and to tackle the gender issue at hand. They encouraged the men and women from the society to attend gender-sensitivity trainings in order to make them more aware of the potentials and obstacles that might lie ahead and how they could overcome them by taking a different approach. For more information on the gender sensitivity training, please contact the organization directly.


Local Government involvement
Members of the organization were very familiar with the region in which they wished to implement the project. This also meant that they knew there were certain challenges that they needed to take into account if they wished to implement the MARIA for MDGs project. One of the pressing challenges was the necessity of having to involve the local government. The organization was well-aware that the approval of the local government unit was not only necessary, but also wished-for if they wanted to develop a sustainable project that could carry on after their initial support would subdue. Therefore, the organization ensured the formation of a multi-stakeholder partnership with local government units and private partners, including local women’s associations, rural banks and overseas diaspora community organizations. Not only did the involvement of the local government unit give weight to the project to collect funding, it also ensured that the necessary formalities would be more easily obtained.