The RD Foundation livelihood program in the greater Gensan area focuses on strategic interventions to improve the quality of livelihood opportunities currently available and to provide alternative livelihood opportunities to ensure that poor people in rural and urban areas have adequate resources to sustain themselves. The livelihood project focus on innovations and scaling-up of effective models of improving livelihoods as well as building the capacity of NGOs working on these issues through research and dissemination of best practices information. RD Foundation is particularly focused on the empowerment of women as increasing their incomes and assets has tremendous multiplier effects on the socio-economic indicators of their families and communities.
RD Foundation is focusing on the following key issues to improve livelihoods
1. Access to Natural Resources
A significant number of Gensan rural poor depend upon rain-fed agriculture (due to declining water availability). As a part of its Livelihood strategy, RD Foundation would like to support water-led livelihood enhancement programs, focusing on increasing water availability to the rural poor in a sustainable, women-centered, and equitable manner while influencing greater action.
2. Micro-credit Initiatives
Collateral-free credit is one of the key inputs for sustainable livelihoods, as it increases consumption and savings potential and enables people to build assets. RD Foundation approach would focus on providing micro-credit for a diverse range of livelihood options. RD Foundation would support micro-credit initiatives that not only provide access to credit to those who would not qualify for regular bank loans but also integrate enterprise and enable women to have more control over their increased incomes.
3. Urban Livelihoods
Half of General Santos City population is expected to live in city by 2025, giving rise to an increasing population of the urban poor, with medium and small-size towns experiencing the most rapid population growth. At the same time, there are insufficient NGO or government interventions in the area of urban livelihoods on the scale needed to address this projected increase. RD Foundation urban livelihoods approach will focus on smaller towns and support innovative ideas for creating livelihood opportunities, both for self-employment and wage employment among the urban poor. RD Foundation also plans to encourage job training, promotion of collectives, and other institutions for informal workers and vendors. Building the capacities of NGOs to promote stable and sustainable livelihood options for urban workers is critical to this effort.