AIMED to help reduce poverty in Mindanao, the Mindanao Microfinance Council (MMC) will launch its Bridges program, designed to give better support to microfinance institutions (MFIs).

"Bridges stands for Building Resources in Developing Greater Effectiveness of Social enterprises," said MMC executive director Jeffrey Ordonez on Wednesday at Club 888.

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The Bridges program is both a technical assistance and a knowledge management program for the MFIs.

Bridges focuses on five basic management functions: people management, finance management, risk management and control, information management and operations management.

"We want to reach the poor especially in frontier areas such as Armm (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) where financial support is scarce," Ordonez said.

He said in MMC, they basically give credit for livelihood and small business owners, adding that in the program, they will give the people seminars and trainings on entrepreneurship and livelihood.

Ordonez pointed out that they want to reach the poorest of the poor in Mindanao. "Kailangan din naming bumaba dun sa lowest sectors," he said.

"We want to create permanent impact and changes on their lives," he added.

The Bridges program, to be launched on August 18 at the Brokenshire Resort and Convention center, will have three primary components:

* Peer Learning Communities - managers and senior staff will meet regularly to discuss issues on a particular topic, share successful practices and develop appropriate measures to help each other's concerns

* Learning Sessions - a series of classroom instructions to be conducted over a 6-month period starting on August 19-20

* Mentoring - to be provided by experts to help improve both skill and systems within the organization

The MMC is a non-stock, non-profit organization that aims to deliver effective financial and capability development services to the poor.