For those members who missed Mindy Gill's presentation on 12th May here are the notes from her presentation.
Mindy is presently the Health Director of International Care Ministries.
ICM is led by business professionals from Hong Kong with a deep commitment to effectiveness and efficiency. We are highly commited to collecting metrics or data on all of our programs. We collect millions of data points every year which is analysed by statisticians to help us understand and refine programs to improve our impact.
In terms of efficiency, ICM’s has an operational budget of about 6 million $US dollars a year with which we reach over 100,000 community members, keeping our administration costs under 15%. This compared with other NGOs, is very good value for money.
ICM works through the local church, which is a core part of Filipino community life. We have a network of over 7000 pastors across nine different provinces in the central and southern parts of the Philippines. This network allows us to reach into some of the poorest and remotest communities in the Philippines.
These pastors are committed to helping the poor around them and ICM is committed to helping them do this.
ICM’s primary program is called Transform. It is 16 week education-based, poverty alleviation program.
The pastor selects the 30 poorest households in his community and invites the female head of the household to participate in Transform.
The average ICM family lives off 46 cents per person per day or half way under what is called the extreme poverty level of $1US / day. This is often called “ultra-poverty”.
19% of the children in our program are acutely malnourished and over ½ of these are chronically malnourished or stunted. 35% live with dirt floors in cramped conditions and 39% have no access to electricity. 23% of mothers have had one of more children die.
The curriculum covers values, health and livelihood.
In values we provide biblical teaching which promotes community connectedness, a strong family unit, love for self and others, a stronger self-esteem and hope for the future.
Health lessons focus on maternal, child health and nutrition and disease prevention. It identifies some of the key issues that are experienced by participants ie acute diarrhoea, intestinal worm infestations and TB
The final part of the curriculum is Livelihood. Participants learn organic vegetable gardening to both improve the nutrition of their family and potentially earn additional income for their families. They are also taught container gardening so that if they have no land they have still grow their own vegetables in containers suspended from their home or other structures.
The Livelihood lessons teach business principles to help participants understand how to earn a living. We resource this training with kits which is a resource which contains the basic material required to start a small business. We have 33 kits that participants can choose from.
We also start micro-savings groups, where the participants learn the importance of savings and are helped to use simple informal savings technologies that can substantially increase investment in preventative health and reduce vulnerability to health shocks.
Each 16 week Transform program brings lasting change in many areas of life. The participants experience a 34% increase in income. In addition 27% fewer go to bed hungry at night, 67% fewer receive no medical help when they are ill and there is a 53% reduction in physical abuse in homes.
Also, my husband, Sam, has been working in Deutche Bank in Manila for the past 4 years and has been working the banking industry for many years prior to that. Sam has long been interested in working with the poor from a business or financial services perspective but struggled to find an approach he really felt was meaningful and effective.
Last year Sam encountered an organisation which works in rescuing and rehabilitating women who have survived trafficking and he began to think though the future really held for these women after they had been rescued. He found there wasn’t much being offered being initial crisis care and basic livelihood interventions such as arts and crafts. After a lot of soul searching and research he has left Deutche back and starting his own business called Datamotivate.
The aim of Datamotivate is to provide a genuine pathway out of poverty though the business outsourcing industry. Sam aims to use his business and banking background to provide high quality data services with a high quality workforce and at the same time, producing a significant social impact.
His employee support program will provide access to higher education, counselling, safe housing and medical care which his employees need to be fully rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.
Sam is currently seeking the support of Australian and other companies to do business with Datamotivate and also be directly involved. Sam believes Datamotivate will offer a unique and ethical outsourcing option for business.