“Changing one mom’s life is changing her whole family’s life.”
This is the mantra of Maria Korina “MK” Bertulfo, the CEO and founder of Filipina Home Based Moms or FHMoms, the first and biggest freelancing group for Pinay moms with 350,000 members nationwide.
MK, who hails from Lipa City, Batangas, started the group in 2017 after landing an online job that enabled her to balance work and family life. The experience was so rewarding for her that she decided to help her mom-friends get the same opportunity.
“I thought of making a support group, to find moms who have also faced the same challenges as I did, and those who were able to make it. This is to have someone to talk to [who are] in the same situation,” she said.
“I value the kind of relationship that I get from these mommies virtually. This has become a support system for each member and that inspires me to continue to grow this community,” she added.
From a support group, MK grew FHMoms to become a go-to e-learning, e-commerce, and job-matching platform for Filipino moms who want to thrive in their chosen career either as an entrepreneur or freelancer.
Her reward is seeing FHMoms able to provide for their families and take care of them at the same time. Just like Jen, a former OFW who is a single mom and differently-abled. With the help of FHMoms’ free webinars and the community’s support, Jen was able to find opportunities online and she’s now enjoying the life of a certified work-at-home mom.
“Oftentimes, when women settle down or have their children, they are trapped with choices in life, and either choice, society has something to say about it. We want these women to realize that they have more options now in growing their careers and themselves, even if they are staying at home, taking care of their family full time. Changing one mom’s life, is changing her whole family’s life,” explained MK.
Now, in the midst of a global health crisis where more moms are turning to online opportunities, MK and her team are finding themselves with more challenges and opportunities.
They are now looking at helping underprivileged, stay-at-home mothers aged 18 to 30 residing in Metro Manila and immediate surrounding areas. With the help of Youthled, she is working on providing these moms with training and internship opportunities with industry and government agency partnerships.
MK is one of the 30 Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed) 2021 Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) fellows of The Asia Foundation in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Youthled is providing MK and the other fellows access to grant support for their respective advocacies. They are also given training programs with prestigious institutions including the Asian Institute of Management’s Future Bridging Leadership Program, Ateneo School of Government’s Executive Education Courses, and Ayala Foundation Incorporated’s Servant Leadership Program. Selected YouthLed Young Leaders will also undergo mentorship activities with the Makati Business Club and Philippine Business for Social Progress. – Rappler.com