“I am now old and growing older and older every day; even my hair almost fully turn its color into white. But I am now happy to see my family staying stronger together,” said Marites Gabato, with a spark of happiness in her eyes.
Marites Gabato, a resident from Nabunturan, Compostela Valley, is a 52-year-old mother of four, who worked as a fish vendor for almost 25 years. All of her four children were graduates in (vocational and degree courses). They all tried working overseas but eventually returned home to stay and join their parents in nurturing their business.
"It’s their choice to stay here with me. I gave them the freedom to choose but they chose not to leave," said Marites admitting that it made her happy. “At least now, we could make a living together and go to church as a family," she added.
Eleven years ago, Marites met the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), Inc. (A Microfinance NGO), a social development organization that offers microloans to support the livelihood activities of the socio-economically challenged women and their families.
In her 11 years as member of CARD, Inc., the institution has witnessed how she was able to successfully manage her business. From an initial loan of PhP3,000, Marites can now avail a loan up to PhP100,000.
Marites was also able to put up an eatery and bought a car, which they use in transporting goods to their respective clients. She was also able to renovate their house.
Like any other stories, Marites also tasted the bitter season of life. Her husband had to go through a kidney surgery. The hospital bill and expenses were quite expensive. Luckily, Marites had availed of the hospitalization benefit or CARD Care offered by CARD Pioneer Microinsurance, the microinsurance arm of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) where CARD, Inc. is also a member institution. The benefit covers the daily hospitalization income benefits maximum of 15 days.
“I always thank CARD for always being there for me in times of my success and uncertainties as well,” said Marites.
With all the things Marites’s has gone through in life, she reminds us to be strong always. “We just need to stay stronger and whatever may happen, don’t lose hope in God because He’s always there, just a prayer away.”
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