When Nayra Limgas lost her home and her livelihood to the siege, childhood dreams and fantasies were the last thing on her mind. She had three children to care for, and as a single mother with no stable income, it was a steep uphill climb.
Before the attack, despite not having a stable source of income, it was easy to find side hustles in Marawi given its business-natured economy. However, after the siege, opportunities dwindled until there were hardly any left. Nayra was able to make due though by reselling whatever products she could get her hands on and planting 'pechay' in the nearby vacant lot. Still, even when she was working double time, with prices being what they are, even that wasn’t enough.
Thankfully, her name was listed as one of the single mothers in need of livelihood and before she knew it, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KoICA) were at her door offering her a second chance at life.
She was offered a wide variety of choices for her livelihood under TESDA and she jumped at the opportunity to take up a dream she’s had for as long as she could remember - baking.
With the enthusiasm of a child on Christmas morning, she pushed through TESDA’s 21-day strict training seminar with determination. Her dream of owning her own bakery came closer and closer to reality on her graduation day, when IOM-KoICA gave her all the things she needed to start building her business. From an oven to a refrigerator, even down to the ingredients, it looked like everything she ever wanted was within her grasp.
True enough, Nayra wasted no time advertising her new business. Long-time friends were supportive and told their neighbors that they should try her cakes, both in support of her livelihood and her childhood dream. She even set up an online page for her business but admitted that she focused more on her clients within their neighborhood since they were a more secure demographic compared to her online customers.
Of course, she is well aware that baking equipment is far from cheap, and without IOM-KoICA, her dream of becoming a baker would have been just that - a dream. But now she runs a stable business that provides for her children’s needs while supporting their family. The best part? She’s doing what makes her happy!
Finding both love and passion in her business, Nayra continues to provide for her family all while living out her childhood fantasy. (PJF/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)