On December 16, 2017, tropical storm Urduja (Kai-tak) made landfall in Eastern Samar and made its way across the central part of the Philippines leaving behind casualties and damages in infrastructure and agriculture. The province of Biliran in the Eastern Visayas region suffered damages amounting to Php 761,631,604 and the whole Region VIII amounting to Php 2,879,155,083 (NDRRMC, Feb 2018).
Six months after Urduja, MBC in partnership with PhilRads conducted three batches of livelihood trainings in Biliran, a three-day Generate Your Business (GYB) and a five-day Start Your Business (SYB) with participants from Brgy. Bato, Brgy. Busali, Brgy. San Isidro, Brgy. San Roque, Brgy. Burabod, and Brgy. Sangalang.
On December 2018, six group businesses, one from each barangays, were evaluated and given funding. Each business consisted of 25 members with one local church pastor as the account officer. This is to ensure accountability for the business grants from PhilRads. Funds were also given to members of these groups for their own individual business initiatives.
The GYB and SYB trainings resulted in a variety of businesses, from rice processing to mini-grocery to selling rags made from ukay-ukay clothes. As one participant expressed, the trainings not only provided jobs or a source of income but also the knowledge to create income, knowledge that no one could steal from her. More importantly, these trainings also created an avenue for the beneficiaries to work together as a community. As one group names its business, “Nagkakaisang mamamayan para sa kinabukasan” (One community for the future).