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RAFI MFI expands partnerships, links up with 3 universities in Visayas

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Micro-Finance Inc. (RAFI MFI) has expanded its partnerships outside Cebu to bring its financial and non-financial services to microentrepreneurs across the Visayas and Mindanao.

RAFI MFI signed on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, an agreement with the Negros Oriental State University in Dumaguete City, Central Philippine University in Iloilo City, and Visayas State University in Baybay, Leyte to implement the Sustainable Livelihood Training Program (SLTP) that will allow participants to learn or enhance their marketable skills.

Jonar B. Dorado, RAFI MFI chief operations officer, said this program is aimed at providing microentrepreneurs a chance to restart, recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and become resilient.

“Many microenterprises — because they are very lean in terms of capital — are the ones badly affected (by the pandemic) and they need to pivot to another line of livelihood,” Dorado said.

“We are strengthening our initiatives and strategies on how we’ll be able to provide a sustainable livelihood training program to our microentrepreneurs and, at the same time, incorporate different capabilities such as financial literacy and (strategies) to pivot online,” he added.

Under the program, livelihood training sessions will be held in the three universities to allow beneficiaries to learn skills in cookery, food preparation and agriculture, among others.

The three universities will allow the free use of their facilities and provide the resource speakers.

RAFI MFI, on the other hand, will provide an online platform that can be accessed through designated learning hub facilities. Through this platform, RAFI MFI will provide the learning modules aside from the physical brochures and training materials.

At the end of the training, the beneficiaries may each apply for a loan of P5,000 to P300,000.

Iris Louise Rosellosa-Dorado, VP for business development of RAFI MFI, said they have capped the number of participants at 15 per training session.

“The number of beneficiaries would depend on the number of training programs that will be conducted. Definitely, it will not be a single training program,” she said during the signing of the agreement Friday.

“What we do is co-create an annual training plan with the partner academe for the skills that are needed by our members. Once created, we identify the branches with the target participants and work with our branches in targeting and member registration,” she added. (MTVI/Ventures Cebu)

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