The APPEND Transformation Agenda is to have a Christ-centered transformation covering spiritual, economic, environmental, and socio-political dimensions of a man’s life. The transformation agenda is embedded, expressed and is being carried out through the programs of Micro and Small Enterprise Development (MSED), Community Development, Education and Research and Development. APPEND and its partners serve the disadvantaged sectors of the Philippine society; farmer-peasants, fisher folks, workers in the formal sector and migrant workers, workers in the informal sector, indigenous peoples and cultural communities, women, disabled persons, senior citizens, victims of calamities and disasters, children and the urban poor with the following programs and projects:
The APPEND Network was founded by Christian businessmen from the Philippines and Opportunity International Australia. In 1991, the APPEND organization was registered with the Philippines’ Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) as non-stock, non-profit organization with a registry number of 186944. It functioned as a Program Management Office, coordinating and organizing activities to strengthen the operational capabilities, leadership capacity and spiritual health of the Board, management and staff of the partner organizations. It also established linkages and networks with like-minded institutions. APPEND’s support fostered the establishment of two new microenterprise (MED) institutions after four years.
In 1997 the Asian crisis caused the economy of the region to slow down. The crisis caused major businesses to decline, increased unemployment and poverty all over the region, including the Philippines. In response to the increasing poverty incidence, APPEND designed the Philippine Scale-Up Program to accelerate the expansion of partners’ branch offices and be able to serve a greater number of Filipino poor. The goal was to serve 250,000 micro-entrepreneurs by year 2003 from 35,000 in 1998. A new standard of operations was developed which improved the capacity of the APPEND partners establish self-sufficient branches in less than 12 months as against the former average time span of four years.
The APPEND’s board structure was reorganized in 1999 to better manage the implementation of the APPEND Scale-Up Program. Opportunity International (OI) has assisted APPEND raised the needed funds for scale-up. In the year 2000 while in the middle of the program’s implementation, APPEND rallied its partners to establish a bank to be owned by APPEND, OI and partner NGOs. The bank was envisioned to be a world-class microfinance bank serving a significant number of poor people and providing business development and transformational services to its clients. In December 7, 2000, APPEND, Opportunity International Network and five APPEND member NGOs signed a memorandum of agreement to put up the Opportunity Microfinance Bank (OMB). This was an act of faith for the group, because at that time, there was an existing moratorium on the issuance of new bank licenses in the country, which means that no new banks should be established.
On January 2, 2001, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) lifted the moratorium only for those establishing microfinance-oriented thrift banks. Taking it as divine providence, APP END submitted its application and other pertinent documents to BSP. In May 2001 OMB was granted the License to Organize, which was followed by its License to Operate in August 2001. OMB was formally launched as the first microfinance-oriented thrift bank in the country on August 17, 2001. In 2008, OMB merged with Kauswagan Bank, a bank in Iloilo which was owned by TSKI, an APPEND partner operating in Panay Islands. OMB was renamed Opportunity Kauswagan Bank or OK Bank.
BASIC SECTORS BEING SERVED BY APPEND
Urban poor entrepreneurs
Workers in the informal and formal sector
The migrant workers
Indigenous peoples and indigenous communities
Youth and children
APPEND has twelve mainstay programs
1.MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT (MSMEs) Program helps create sustainable jobs in the communities by assisting community enterprises, small and medium-scale entrepreneurs with the needed financing and business development services. The clients are also taught to save so they can build up their asset base. Families also receive life and disability insurance against sudden death and illnesses. The entrepreneurs also benefit from business development services training, character development program, health and family education.
Specifically, the entrepreneurs receive the following development finance services:
Microfinance. APPEND provides financial products to micro and small scale-entrepreneurs so they can expand their existing businesses through loans and capital build up or savings.
a) Loans - The APPEND partners directly give small loans to entrepreneurs from Php2,500 (USD46) to PhP300,000 for micro-entrepreneurs and PhP150,000 to PhP300,000 for small and medium-sized enterprises. This is payable in six months to two years. Loan clients are mostly women, for they are the ones who usually stay home to take care of their family. With the small loan, they continue to take care of their family and at the same time, set up or build up their small businesses to add to their family's income. With the additional income, they are able to provide more nutritious meals, send their children to school and provide better clothing and shelter for their family. As the enterprise grows, it also provides employment for others and even encourages the establishment of other small businesses in the community. Thus with a small loan, a family's life is improved, and a community's economic progress is also spurred.
b) Capital build-up and savings component, allows the micro-entrepreneurs to increase their financial stability and ability to withstand unexpected circumstances. This stability becomes the foundation to a better future for the family.
c) Micro insurance. These are life, accident, property insurance coverage to the members (micro-entrepreneurs) and their family members. Micro-insurance gives protection and relief to the members and their families against distress, calamities and death, something they are unable to do so before because of their financial limitations. In the event of the micro-entrepreneur's demise, the family receives financial assistance. APPEND provides insurance through (1) Pinoy Ako Insurance Services – an insurance agency owned by APPEND and 8 partners. Fifty percent of the net income of Pinoy Ako Insurance Services goes to fund the education of clients’ children; (2) Mutuality Model – Mutual Benefit Associations (MBAs) are insurance schemes run on a "not-for-profit" basis, which exist for the purpose of helping their members. MBAs are regulated by the Insurance Commission and are required to engage the services of an actuary for the purpose of their insurance functions.
2. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SERVICES. APPEND provides products and services that strengthen and sustain the business position of the existing micro and small enterprises and those that were developed from the community based entrepreneurship stage. Business Development Services include:
a) Business creation program – the creation of new businesses in partnership with providers of business technologies. This includes training on compliance to business’ rules and regulations. The program also includes helping the micro-entrepreneurs get government permits and licenses for their enterprises.
b) Technical education – training on the various technologies applicable to certain business endeavors such as food business, garments, retailing, beauty salon services, business management and administration
c) Technological services – refers to training and education on product quality, design, product development and market research
d) Business advisory – refers to the provision of business and marketing advice with the end goal of increasing sales and profitability of the enterprises.
e) Commercialization and marketing (trade fairs, development of a catalog of available products and other events which directly link the producers and the buyers)
3. EDUCATION through KILOS 1 and 2 (Knowledge for Inspiring Leadership, Opportunities and Spirituality) is a scholarship program that supports the transformative education of young leaders who are the deserving children of poor clients of APPEND partners. Scholarship covers high school and tertiary or college education. KILOS 1 is the scholarship for students studying in Manila while KILOS 2 is an education program for students that are enrolled in state and private colleges/universities in the provinces. This scholarship program is in partnership with the Gordon and Helen Smith Foundation and Opportunity International-US.
B.1.1 KILOS – COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP
APPEND in partnership with Gordon V and Helen C. Smith Foundation established the KILOS Scholarship Program (Knowledge for Inspiring Leadership, Opportunities and Spirituality). This is a program that gives the highly qualified and motivated high school graduates the opportunity to continue their education at top colleges and universities in Manila, Philippines. This scholarship is given to the deserving children of micro-entrepreneurs to take up any course (up to five years) that is of interest to them. While on scholarship, the students also go through a leadership and discipleship training and mentoring process with APPEND to acquire life skills on financial and time management, negotiation skills, stewardship, values of honesty, discipline, responsibility, giving, love for God, their families, fellowmen and love for the environment and many others.
B.1.2 KILOS -2 College Scholarship
Access to college education is being expanded by giving opportunities to the children of the microe-ntrepreneurs to study in colleges or universities within their provinces. With this expansion, APPEND hopes to speed up the poverty reduction process both in the urban and rural areas in the Philippines. KILOS 2 scholarship program is being financed by the tithes and offerings of KILOS 1 scholars, staff of APPEND and other local and international donors.
B.1.3 Ohio Wesleyan University Scholarship Program
The Program is for the outstanding KILOS scholars that are sent to Ohio Wesleyan University, Ohio USA to finish their senior years. The objective is for these children to finish their degrees in the US and be an advocates for the poor entrepreneurs and the micro-enterprise sector in the Philippines.
F.2 Certificate and degree courses: Training, Mentoring and Technical Assistance
This is a comprehensive capacity building program for the members. The primary purpose is to enhance the technical competence, managerial and leadership capacity of the development pracitioners, clients and their children. The mentoring aspect of the program is in partnership and alliances with faith-based organizations that are interested and willing to work in the marketplace.
Majority of the training topics are packaged into LIFE Series books that are written in easy to understand and simple formats. The micro-entrepreneurs and development practitioners use the book program in their small group meetings and has been helping them learn moral values and traits that are applicable in managing their families, resources and relationships. Most of the entrepreneurs also say that the values they acquire from reading the LIFE series books help them become good and responsible citizens in their communities.
Following are the training areas:
- Micro-enterprise development (BDS, microfinance, community development)
- Environmental Management System
- Leadership and Governance – Boards, Executives, 2nd line managers and field officers
- Family values, Christian education, growth and discipleship
- Essential elements of social and systemic environment that are related directly to preventing corruption and electorate education with biblical applications
- Value-chain development program
4. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
a) Community Facilities and Infrastructure Program provides critical funds and assistance to rehabilitate or set-up infrastructure facilities such as local source of potable water, toilets, bridges, health and school facilities as needed by the community.
b) Community-Based Entrepreneurship Development Program (CBEDP). The APPEND's CBEDP is a transformational program backed up by a Christian perspective in development that capitalizes on people’s empowerment and participation for inclusive development thus restoring God-given standard of human dignity, sufficiency and responsibility. It recognizes the need to mainstream majority of the poor (the laboring and the subsistence poor) to entrepreneurship and the enterprising poor to higher level of competency.
CBEDP is the process of developing active and sustainable communities based on social justice and mutual respect. It is about influencing power structures to remove the barriers that prevent people from participating in the issues that affect their lives. It recognizes the need for people to participate in their development process. It is done in the community to provide the chance to develop entrepreneurship and evolve community enterprises identified by community stakeholders.
CBEDP includes equipping the community with the ability to generate/mobilize resources and be able to manage the livelihood projects they themselves identify. Examples of CBEDP projects include fashion jewelry making, nursery and plant seedlings, foot spa and massage parlors, reflexology, Bio-dynamic farming, gardening, Floral Shop, Wastes recycling, wet market and others that are collectively owned and run by micro-entrepreneurs.
c) Community Services such as Medical and dental missions, Blood-letting Projects. Disaster and Relief operations and school supplies distribution to children
5. GREEN AND ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY TECHNOLOGIES AND ENTERPRISE PROGRAM advocates and introduces environment-friendly technologies in response to climate change. This includes promotion, distribution and usage of solar-powered gadgets and lights, household biogas systems, and improved cooking stoves through “green social enterprise”. Under the program is also the nationwide call for tree planting and other environment stewardship activities.
6. COMMUNITY INVESTMENT FINANCE is open to all investors and depositors who want to help the poor and at the same time earn a reasonable interest for their funds in trust with APPEND. The community investment finance of APPEND increases the capacity of its grassroots organizations in supporting the financial requirements of the group of poor yet enterprising population. The APPEND’s wholesale window started in 1996 and is being inspired by Proverbs 19:17 "He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and HE will reward him for what he has done." This Word means that it is God who will reward those who lend their money to the poor.
7. OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS (OFW) PROGRAM is a program that directly helps both the OFW and their families set up, operate and grow enterprises in the Philippines. Value formation training will likewise be conducted simultaneously with the OFWs and with their families in the Philippines. The OFW Program is to direct the productive use of remittances and address employment problems through creation and strengthening of local enterprises.
8. TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP is in the core of APPEND Programs and is being carried out through the “LEAD 300 Movement”. To help the poor truly obtain freedom from poverty, APPEND helps them overcome the sense of hopelessness and helplessness in their lives. APPEND provides values formation training and conferences to its members to strengthen their moral values and spiritual maturity. By making them responsible in leading their small groups, they also develop their social and leadership skills. Regularly conducted are the following:
a) APPEND Leadership Camp
b) GLOBAL Leadership Summit
c) KILOS Youth Congress
d) Theology of Work,
e) Teaching Theology of Work and Solidarity Economics
f) LIFE Training Series
g) Branch Micro-Enterprise and Economic Development Training Series
APPEND also continuously develops training materials called the LIFE Series that are used by the members in their small group meetings to help them learn values and traits that will equip them to manage their families, strengthen inter and intra personal relationships, be a good and responsible citizens in their communities and succeed in the marketplace or in their chosen vocation or careers. There are already two books and training program released the
a) “Gawaing Bahay (Household Chores) and
b) “Pasok nasa Kaharian” (“Come into the Kingdom!”)
c) Pamilyang OK is upcoming
9. SOCIAL SOLIDARITY ECONOMY
Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) is the only alternative model for social, political and economic development. It is the exact opposite of neo-liberal economy or market oriented economy where the prevailing motive of production and exchange is to maximize profit. SSE focuses on the development and growth of social and agricultural enterprises using the value chain development approach. SSE within the APPEND context has three bottom lines: reasonable profit, development of the people and stewardship of the environment. The over-arching element for SSE is transformed values and virtues such as love for God and life, commitment to the poor, integrity, responsibility, stewardship and discipline.
In SSE, the purpose is to establish a sustainable product and food supply chain where producers have direct access to the market. The goal of SSE is to bless the producers and the consumers, whereby the producers get an increased income because they have direct access to the market through a shortened supply chain. While the consumers at the same time get access to SSE products at reasonable prices.
APPEND is one of the members of the Asian Solidarity Economy Council and since APPEND's inception in 1991, it promotes, upholds, practices and lives out SSE programs and projects. The goal of all APPEND's SSE projects is to improve the well-being of families, their communities and the entire nation.
The leadership of APPEND believes that for SSE to continue and be sustained the next generation of leaders composed of the children and youth should appreciate the value of SSE. APPEND continuously train not only the staff and entrepreneurs but also its young people. The young people are exposed to various SSE models such as various community projects, micro finance, banking, environment projects and SSE enterprises In the process of SSE education and exposures, the principles, concepts, actual experience, short and long term benefits of SSE to the nation are better understood and embraced.
APPEND facilitated the setting-up of several SSE companies and enterprises, these are the Opportunity Kauswagan Bank, the first microfinance oriented thrift bank licensed by the Central Bank of the Philippines, The Pinoy Ako Micro-insurance Agency and the OK Remittance Company. Recently, The APPEND Youth also established the Young Entrepreneurs in Solidarity Economy Marketing Cooperative. The YESE coop markets and distributes high quality and reasonably priced products of micro and small Filipino entrepreneurs. Part of the income of all the SSE enterprises goes to financing the high school and college education of poor kids.
Within the APPEND family, the partners provide micro-finance products and other associated services to low-income entrepreneurs. APPEND mobilizes resources for the partners, initiates new technologies for use of the partner organizations, provides education support to children of micro-entrepreneurs, manages relationship within the APPEND group, facilitates the exchange of best and not so good practices in microfinance and enterprise development programs among the partner organizations and leads the group in formulating the over-all plan and corporate strategies to increase its outreach, increase the members' assets and strengthen families.
10. CAPACITY AND INSTITUTION BUILDING APPEND places high priority in training its Board, management and field staff because the APPEND leadership believes that a well-equipped leadership and workforce is crucial to the success in the fight against poverty.
APPEND’s capacity building initiatives enhance the members capacity in leading and managing micro and small enterprises, business development services, transformation and financial education or literacy. APPEND also provides technical assistance for both local and international micro-enterprise development institutions.
To further develop the capacities of its staff and clients, APPEND advances the formation of work teams on different areas of expertise, to serve as its pool of resource speakers as well as the shadowing of experts for the transfer of skills and multiplication of capacities. In addition to microfinance, operations and other technical training in enterprise development and development finance, APPEND offers the capacity-building programs:
a) Financial Education. A capacity-building program for staff and clients, their families and communities to fully understand the financial products/services and technology interface, to confidently exercise initiative and engage in financial decisions with a sense of informed choice, leading to increased financial sector inclusion and strengthening the consumer protection environment. A suite of integrated tools was built in response to client needs assessments and focus groups unique to the project to ensure the content had maximum relevance to the target audiences. A DVD covering nine units (Tagalog / English) was developed which covers topics that aim to (1) increase financial planning capabilities; (2) increase credit management capabilities; and (3) increase investment capabilities from interest bearing investments such as savings; and income generating investments from a variety of asset forms. Complementing the DVD are Print Handouts; Flip Charts; Stickers; Posters and Facilitators Handbook.
b) Mobile phone-based surveys. Mobile research describes a method of data collection means by using functions of mobile phones, smart phones and PDAs. It makes use of strengths from mobile communication and applies these strengths to research purposes. APPEND offers a half-day training on the use of mobile phone based survey technology, that addresses key challenges in paper-based data gathering, ie time-consuming data capturing processes, difficulties in scaling the sample size, and non-uniform results, etc.
11. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
a) Joy at Work Staff Surveys.
b) Client Satisfaction surveys.
12. PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND RESOURCE MOBILIZATION APPEND supports its members with fund-raising and resource mobilization by packaging project proposals and negotiating loan and training funds with local and international donor organizations. It also manages projects and funds for the enhancement of the financial conditions of the partner organizations and the members who are the micro and small entrepreneurs.