Welcome! - from Community Champion, Maria Chona

ma.chona lasaca
Posted January 19, 2015 from Philippines

Hi! I’m Maria Chona Lasaca from the island of Mindanao, south of Philippines! Mindanao is an awesome island but deeply scarred with age-old conflicts waged by several political groups whose wars are fed by the wounds of poverty and injustices.

Our country is touted as one of the top Asian economic performers today. But sadly that economic feat has not yet benefitted the majority of our people. Income disparity remains high. Women from poor families are still leaving their home to work in foreign lands. Farmers are still losing their lands to big corporations. Small businesses are unprepared to compete with their Asian neighbors as a borderless economy is unfolding.

Added to these, we live on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, home to increasingly powerful storms the world have seen. Because of our poverty, we are most vulnerable to climate change. My family and neighbors were survivors of one of the biggest floods the country experienced in 2011. We saw destruction but we also see rebuilding. We saw desperation but we also see hope at work .

I believe we are not alone in our situation. Women, families and communities in many parts of the globe, face equally, if not more challenging situations that continue to deprive them of their right to development. I believe that to attain economic empowerment we need support and continue education. That we can learn from one another, give support when needed and become a resource to every woman working for change and economic empowerment whether at personal or community level. We do not have to be wildly successful in our economic undertaking to be able to share. We can be like bamboo poles connected to one another so that water can pass to where it is needed. We need not be like reservoirs that needs to be filled up first before it can give water to others.

I want to be community champion for the Economic Empowerment group because I would like to help create a space where true conversations can happen among women change leaders. I wanted to help co-facilitate a system of sharing of ideas, of experiences, of resources among ourselves. I am open to learning, unlearning and relearning things to become economically empowered.

My hope and intention is for the group to become resources though information-sharing, co-learning, coaching and mentoring. It is my hope for the group to support the women change-leaders in their work by highlighting their efforts in the paths they are in toward economic empowerment. It is my hope that we can create an ever-widening circle of conversations on the strategies, learnings and innovations that can help us move closer to our economic goals.

Questions creates point of conversations.Talks lead to answers that lead to initiatives. Actions that lead to ripples of change anywhere where there are committed change leaders. Let our voices be heard and let it bring about the change we want to happen.

Do you feel that you are working in isolation? Do you want to know what innovations are being done to make an village enterprise similar to yours but are more viable? Are you looking for resources to support your economic goals? Do you have a story to tell that can inspire women in their economic struggle ?

Then hop aboard, let’s hit the road. The road trip will be exciting and fun as we can make it.

Comments 10

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Eliza Gilmore
Jan 22, 2015
Jan 22, 2015

Maria Chona, thank you for helping to pave the way for this exciting new initiative with the Economic Empowerment group! We are so excited about this new space, and the opportunity it will create for women to connect and build solutions together. As you say, "we are not alone in our situation." Thank you for wishing to create a growing circle for conversation to build partnerships, share strategies, and to learn together. I am looking forward to being a part of your journey, and that of this group, and to supporting you however I can!

ma.chona lasaca
Jan 24, 2015
Jan 24, 2015

Thank you so much Eliza ! I am glad that you are making this journey with our Economic Empowerement group.With you , I believe we can start creating that circle for conversation,

Jan 24, 2015
Jan 24, 2015
This comment has been removed by the commenter or a moderator.
Terry Mullins
Jan 22, 2015
Jan 22, 2015

Hello Maria Chona! Thank you so much for taking on this responsibility as Community Champion for this new group on our new, improved website! It is exciting to think of the possibilities that will be generated here. I love what you said in your post..."I am open to learning, unlearning and relearning things to become economically empowered." This is why you will be so successful in this role!!! Looking forward to the discussions to come.

ma.chona lasaca
Jan 24, 2015
Jan 24, 2015

Hello Terry! I'm glad to have you in our new group and thank you so much for your encouraging message. With us coming from diverse background, I look forward to interesting discussions ahead and I will be grateful to have you around during our topics.

Jan 24, 2015
Jan 24, 2015
This comment has been removed by the commenter or a moderator.
Tamarack Verrall
Feb 02, 2015
Feb 02, 2015

Hello Maria,

I am so glad to meet you here, and thank you for your willingness to take on leadership as Community Champion of this important Group. I love your image of "bamboo poles connected so that water can pass", and that we will be brainstorming together on sharing of resources. I am here to be part of, as you so beautifully put it, "actions that create ripples of change". 

aarsenal
Feb 02, 2015
Feb 02, 2015

Mabuhay, Chona. Happy to meet you here, taking the lead with Phionah in the EE group. Hope to be able to contribute to the community in whatever way I can. 

On a more personal note, fervent prayers for lasting peace in Mindanao. Through social media, we can help change the narrative, ease the pain, clear heads and forge a BBL that works for all.

Deb Engle
Feb 02, 2015
Feb 02, 2015

Maria Chona, what a beautiful image: "We can be like bamboo poles connected to one another so that water can pass to where it is needed." I'm honored to stand with you as you help bring women together, sharing resources and ideas to inspire one another for real change.

ma.chona lasaca
Feb 12, 2015
Feb 12, 2015

Thank you Arsenal! Please join us in the Economic Empowerement group which aims to draw support and resources for women change leaders working for economic empowerement around the globe. Let us stay connected through this site  https://www.worldpulse.com/en/community/groups/economic-empowerment-group ! And yes, let our voice for lasting peace in our country  rise above the now strident calls for war , Kalinaw!