FROM abused women to single mothers, from widows to housewives, the women’s group Katilingbang Nagkahiusa sa Kauswagan Association Inc. (KNKAI) has been providing opportunities for poor women in Barangay Don Andres Soriano in Toledo City to empower themselves through a sustainable livelihood program.
In support of this group, Carmen Copper Corp., through its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), recently donated a complete set of meat and food processing equipment to the KNKAI to boost its livelihood programs for its members.
Donated items include one freezer, weighing scales, baking ware, electric meat grinder, food cutter, meat slicer, sealer, turbo broilers, gas range, and sausage filler with automatic linkers, among others.
KNKAI processes and sells meat products, such as skinless longganisa, chorizo, lumpia and tocino, which they promote as Lutopan’s Best. (Lutopan is the former name of Barangay DAS).
Earlier, Carmen Copper, in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), provided trainings to the KNKAI members on proper food handling and latest food technology. They are now food processing health card holders.
Carmen Copper believes that among the ways to empower women is by increasing their ability to manage their livelihood options, said Mario L. Baylosis, Carmen Copper community service officer for DAS.
“It’s clean, it’s delectable and these are products of women who struggle to keep their homes and at the same time provide additional income for the family,” said KNKAI president Evangeline L. Solon.
Solon, who founded KNKAI, provided a small space in her property to serve as the meat processing quarters for free.
KNKAI started this small business in 2014, but they could not mass produce because they lacked equipment.
“Meat processing before was done manually. With these donated equipment, they can produce more and could even make more products such as pastries and other sweets. They can also devote more time to taking care of themselves and their families,” Solon said.
She said they will register their business as a Barangay Micro Business Enterprise (BMBE) to enjoy the incentives provided under Republic Act 9178, such as income tax exemption and opportunities for technology transfer, training and marketing assistance from the government.
Carmen Copper will be tapping DOST once more to provide technical assistance to KNKAI in packaging, branding and marketing its products.