As a part of our #womenwhowow series in celebration of International Women’s Day, meet a renowned community leader from the Philippines.
Prior to Outreach Philippines, Inc. coming to work in her community, Liezl was a dedicated mother and industrious entrepreneur – focused on her three sons, raising pigs in her backyard, and selling beauty and home products to friends. Once Outreach Philippines, Inc.(OPI) – Outreach’s program partner in the Philippines – arrived in her community, her focus expanded even beyond her own home and family to her entire community. As OPI began to support Liezl and her fellow community members in organizing their own community-based organization (CBO), she jumped in with both feet and has not looked back.
Liezl started attending community meetings and, with her neighbors, began to analyze their community’s issues. Together, they tackled problems such as their precarious incomes and lack of legal ownership of the land on which their homes were built. Liezl was actively involved as they implemented solutions to many of her village’s challenges and, over time, she emerged as a well respected community leader.
Renowned Community Leader
Now, more than 10 years later, and with tons of experience under her belt, Liezl’s leadership shines through in her numerous positions. She was president of Kilusang Pangkabuhayan sa Kabulihan (KPK), their local community-based organization, holds leadership positions within KAPAGENA – a federation of four local CBOs, and has entered local politics, winning a seat on the local village council.
Reflecting on her experiences, Liezl compares becoming a leader to learning to drive. “You learn to do things one step at a time. You could make mistakes when you are just starting to drive. You get bumped or get a flat tire. It is very much like life. You would make incorrect decisions because you made it too quickly. Time will come when you will learn more, like driving. You might think twice about moving forward because you made a mistake; but do not dwell too much on this. Rather, think about what you might achieve and the destinations where you can still go because of the lessons you have learned from your mistakes.”
Liezl, an all-around community builder, will no doubt continue leading her community to new achievements and destinations. Join us in celebrating her.
How to Help
Feeling inspired? Meet some of the other women leaders who are making a difference in their communities.