Irish’s small start to success

16 February 2024

Irish used to work as an on-call mango slicer in her barangay in Cebu whenever the fruit was in season.

It was far from a stable, permanent job and it paid below minimum wage, but it was her way of helping out her family. Irish’s father worked as a jeepney driver while her mother was a domestic helper. Irish is also third-born of seven children. With the small income they earn, it was just not enough to cover their household’s daily expenses.

Things took a turn when, through the Youth Connect Philippines 2.0 Project of Plan International and Western Union Foundation, Irish was given an opportunity to start her own business.

Girl arranging consumer goods in small store
Irish arranges supplies in her small store. Photo credit; Plan International

“It truly helped me and my family. Through the Community-based Enterprise Development Training, I was able to set up my own sari-sari store (a small store in the neighborhood that is similar to a convenience store). Ever since it opened and I started earning, I was able to help my family with our daily expenses,” she said. 

The Youth Connect Philippines 2.0 is a 12-month project funded by the Western Union Foundation which aims to enable young women and young men to pursue decent work opportunities of their choosing, whether waged or self-employment. 

Irish was one of the participants of the entrepreneurial skills training in Cebu City. Inspired by the growth she was able to achieve with the support given, she called on her fellow young people to continue pursuing their own aspirations.

“For other young people like me, my message for you is to never lose hope and never stop dreaming. All our sacrifices for our dreams and for our family will pay off one day. Let’s continue to persevere and have faith because one day we will be successful.

I am really thankful to Plan International and Western Union Foundation for the opportunity given to me and my fellow youth. I hope that more youth will be given the same opportunity to participate in this project.” 

Skills and work, Lifeskills training, Livelihoods