By Emily Soetaert, CFCA writer and graphic designer
The saying “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” comes to mind as many mothers of CFCA sponsored children and youth in the Philippines have found a new way to earn income.
In a CFCA community in the Legazpi project, mothers train to learn massage therapy, and in turn provide their services to sponsored elderly friends.
Staff members and individuals belonging to a CFCA livelihood group suggested the idea of giving massage therapy to the elderly to apply the knowledge they learned from the training.
The program has accompanied success for these mothers around the area.
“I get a lot of demand for massage therapy, especially in our community,” said Aster, mother of Rose Ann, a CFCA sponsored child. “And through word of mouth, I became known to many people not only in our place, but also in neighboring places.”
Sessions occur at least once a month and have already served 50 sponsored elderly. The training helps provide more income to many mothers of sponsored children.
“The money I get from my customer is of big help because it is one of my sources in my children’s allowances and projects in school. I also have a chance to give my children delicious foods,” Aster said.
In addition to training, CFCA also helps the mothers make herbal massage oil used in therapy sessions.
Some of the mothers’ first customers post-training were the children, but as they continue in practice, the sponsored elderly have seen positive results.
One sponsored elderly, Ignacia, acknowledges the notable differences the massages have made in her life.
“When I experienced massage therapy from the trained mothers, my pains were lessened and I’m now able to perform the daily functions at home much easier,” she said.