Teresita and Melchor Cadayday both in their early 50’s have been happily married for more than two decades. Melchor despite being wheelchair-bound due to polio which he contracted when he was 10 years old is a jack of all trades. By the age of 13, he was already gaining work experience as an errand boy for the owner of a vulcanizing shop. His willingness to learn motivated his employer to expose him to the various aspects of vulcanizing. Melchor’s friends were mostly older men who had skills in various jobs such as shoe repairs, auto mechanics and carpentry. Every time Melchor’s friends would ask him to assist them, he did so willingly and thus Melchor learned many skills from them.
Melchor subsequently worked as an auto mechanic and started a side business in shoe repair. Regrettably, he had to stop working as a mechanic earlier this year because he had pain in his eyes and blurry vision which required him to undergo surgery. It transpired that his eyes had been damaged by tiny metal particles that had entered his eyes because he was not wearing a suitable mask when he was doing welding work. Melchor is now using eye drops to help prevent any worsening of his eyes.
Thankfully, Melchor had trained his wife Teresita and their three children to do shoe repairs so that business could continue. In fact, since 2017, it is Teresita who has been manning the shop and she enjoys her job very much. With the income from shoe repairs and Melchor’s work as a mechanic, the couple have been able to send their children to school with the two eldest earning degrees in Education and the youngest Emie (22), completing a vocational course in caregiving.
At present, it is Teresita and the two older children who are earning an income - Teresita from the payments she receives from repairing shoes and her daughters with their salaries from working in a call center. With the family savings drained from paying for Melchor’s surgery, Teresita is struggling to fund the purchase of supplies for her shoe repair business so she has applied for a loan from us for this purpose. She will use the loan to purchase soles, threads, needles, rugby glue and polish. With sufficient stocks, she hopes to increase her income to 1,500 pesos ($30) a week. Most of Teresita’s clients are students and office workers who opt to have their old shoes repaired instead of buying a new pair.
The Cadayday family live in a two-roomed roughly made concrete house which they constructed themselves with just a little help from a labourer who was hired to do the lifting of hollow blocks and the mixing of cement. With extra income from the shoe repair business, the Cadayday couple hope to improve the finishings of the house and make it more comfortable. We wish the two of them well in their endeavours.
Ireen O. Ingles
PSHF Negros Oriental