Welcome to SIKAP Success Stories!
This is where we feature an MSME owner who has learned to thrive in the new normal and who can share best practices with our SIKAP network.
Our second success story is Casuga Integrated Farm School.
Casuga Integrated School, Casuga Dairy Farm, Casuga Aquaculture, all come from an integrated farming system of the Casuga Family. The family wanted to engage in community-based enterprise, activities, and everything in between making use of their farm for everybody to gain knowledge, experience, and improve livelihood.
We spoke to the school's president, Ms. Cherrylin Casuga about school’s journey and what she has learned so far.
When asked about how the school coped with the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Ms. Casuga shared a detailed account as well as interesting coping strategies.
"As a start-up, access to financing was really challenging, availability of inputs, logistics, and innovation. As I have mentioned, I take it one step at a time. One day at a time. This made me organize myself and prioritize what matters most like family, relationships, and so on. We've learned to get by just to survive and I guess we all had those moments. So coping emotionally, physically with health as immunocompromised, taking care of myself, nourishing spiritually in prayer and supplication, meditation, affirmation, helped me a lot to cope with all the difficulties of the world.
It helped to partner with government agencies, seeking assistance for training, linkages, access to market, and everything in the value chain just to get on and get on with our business while inspiring myself to be creative. Everything I sell should come with "value" or simply value-adding from the resources available."
Being a graduate of our KASIKAP Mentorship Program, Ms. Casuga recognized the importance of digital solutions to business operations, saying:
"It is important because it gives us the opportunity to learn more, and share at the same time. The value of humility and letting go too so you can fill in more information, be updated, learn new trends, because everything changes fast before you know it, it's all gone, or you're outdated or simply what you're doing doesn't work anymore. We need to hear others and learn from them too."
When asked about how she can encourage fellow MSMEs to succeed in spite of the challenges still posed by the pandemic, Ms. Casuga shared these words of inspiration:
"We all know formulas to success: hard work, perseverance, patience, persistence, so on and so forth. The world is so complicated, with so much to offer. In whatever industry or field you may be in right now, make sure that it defines and provides your purpose in life. Make sure that it provides you the opportunity to grow and be better every single day. And most of all, it has the opportunity to be of service to God, and humanity. "
If you’d like to know more about Casuga Integrated Farm School you can check out their FaceBook page.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more SIKAP Success Stories!