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Venus Santos


It’s been a 10-year journey for Venus and her husband, Felix.

They left their home in Nueva Ecija, Philippines, determined to give their two young children better opportunities. Now living three hours away in Paco, Manila, she can finally sense a breakthrough.

Venus was disappointed when her son, John Albert, had to drop out of university, and vowed that her 14-year-old daughter, Jassziel would fulfil her dream of becoming a teacher. But she knew it would be tough paying for private school on just the income from their sari-sari (neighborhood) shop. The tuition alone costs her $700 per year.

That’s why she joined Grameen Foundation’s Community Agent Network (CAN) program, which was developed with the support of J.P. Morgan and Tomberg Family Philanthropies. As a CAN financial services agent, she helps her neighbors pay bills and transfer money using a digital terminal in her shop. It saves them the time and money of traveling to payment centers much further away, and she earns a small fee for each transaction.

Venus and Felix take turns at the shop, providing almost 24-hour service to their neighbors.

Venus works hard toward her goal of saving $150 each month to cover Jassziel’s school fees and other educational expenses.

It’s not easy, but she said, “We rarely spend or buy ourselves. We consider the needs of our children our utmost priority.”

Her greatest joy will be watching Jassziel graduate.

#HerBreakthrough in financial services for women means more children are in school.

Be part of it.