One of the biggest reasons for poverty in the Philippines is corruption. Prices of everyday commodities are controlled by a few large entities. This makes it difficult for the average person to purchase more than a days worth of necessities at a time.
For years Florita Escandor (Flora) has had a vision to help lift her countrymen out of poverty. Once she connected with Kirsten Monson, Elevita Cofounder, in Singapore, Flora knew it was finally time to act. Flora decided to tackle the poverty problem by changing the method of goods distribution. With her background in economics and business, Flora approached major manufacturers and negotiated with them to release their products at reduced prices. These products will then go directly into the hands of cooperative members, without several middleman price increases. The cooperative has launched in a warehouse, which also gives its members a place to sell their own produce and handmade goods. Elevita plays an additional role by helping the artisan members sell their handmade products on Elevita.com.
The cooperative is carefully organized so that members receive a rebate for all their purchases, which is applied to savings, investments, and to furthering the mission of the cooperative. With this ingenious model Flora has taken great steps to help free her fellow citizens from the rule of the "tycoons" who run the country. The I Reach Out cooperative is young, but Elevita has great hope for the future of its members, and is proud to play a role in its inception.