Yehleen, a mother of four, has seen her community go through an enormous transformation in recent years. In 2010, when Outreach International began helping incorporate their poverty-fighting process, the community of Canantong, Philippines, identified six major concerns in their village. Today, they’ve resolved all six, from accessing clean water to building a kindergarten, and are nearing total self-sufficiency.

Most recently, Yehleen was part of the community initiative to create a rice loan project. She and her husband had been paying nearly 30 percent interest on a rice loan through local loan sharks–a steep price they couldn’t afford for much longer. Yehleen’s husband, making only $3.40 per day, did not earn enough for the family to eat regular meals. During the lean months, they ate only once a day to save grain, and the children often missed school because of it.

Yehleen and her family weren’t alone. Many other community members were going hungry, too. Living below the poverty line, few could afford to pay the amount of interest required to buy rice.

After meeting as a community numerous times, the people of Canantong began to put a plan in action. They developed a proposal to acquire enough money for their own rice loan system. 

Because of Outreach’s generous supporters, Yehleen and her fellow community members quickly received the money they needed to support the rice loan. Now, more than 200 people are receiving rice and no longer going hungry. 

Today, Yehleen doesn’t have to worry about her children getting enough to eat. Now that the new rice loan system is in place, they are eating regular meals and her children are healthy. When Yehleen encounters someone else in need, she even has enough to give them a small amount of rice, too. “It’s important to pay it forward,” she said.

“I am calmer than before,” Yehleen continued. “I used to be worried all the time about where we’d get food for the day. Now we can eat better.” 

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Because of their hard work and your generosity, more than 200 people are no longer going hungry. Check out more of our hunger projects here.