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Local bakers serve up breads and hope in Davao City

Walk down the streets of Sitio Sirawan in Davao City, and it would be difficult to miss the delightful display and aroma of breads from the “Sunshine Bakeshop,” a simple and unassuming bakery run by the Sunshine Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC). More than the compelling view of these delectable pastries is an even more inspiring story of hope and new beginnings, told by one of its pioneer members, Ate Nora.
 
Leonora Intong, or Ate Nora to most coop members, proudly calls herself a “Sunshine Baker,” true to her usual  sunny disposition in life. Despite the heavy load and challenges of the work day, the smile of this mother of five never falters when she shared how their cooperative manages its bakery in order to provide additional income to its members.
 
“Napakalaking bagay ang maayos na pamumuno ng kooperatiba. Hindi naging madali ang karanasan ng aming kooperatiba ngunit sa pagpupursigi ng mga miyembro, ang malalim na mithiing gumaan ang buhay ng bawat isa sa amin, at ang mga tumutulong upang maisakatuparan ang mithiing ito, ito na kami ngayon — umuunlad (Effective leadership is a big deal for a cooperative. We did not have it easy in the past, but thanks to the perseverance of our members, our fervent aspiration for a better life for each of us, and to those helping us achieve our goals--here we are now, growing),” Ate Nora shared.
 
Ate Nora and Sunshine MPC credit the efforts of Aboitiz Group for their success. The Aboitiz Foundation, the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group, teamed upwith Aboitiz business units Therma South, Inc. (TSI), Davao Light and Power Company, and Pilmico to help train Sunshine MPC members in bread and pastry production, opening opportunities for them to earn NC II Certifications.
 
Today, Sunshine MPC earns an additional P3,000 to P5,000 a day from the bakeshop. It will also begin supplying school and office canteens--including TSI’s.
 
In partnership with Aboitiz Group BUs, the Aboitiz Foundation’s promise of co-creating safe, empowered, and sustainable communities employs inclusive innovation in the management of its Enterprise Development program.
 
To date, the Aboitiz Foundation has trained 831 individuals for capacity building and 160 individuals for livelihood skills. This has resulted in a 45% average increase in income for organizations (wholesale fund).