Social Entrepreneurship Advocate

by Lia Malferrari (former Jacinto & Lirio intern)photo2

As kids we’re taught to seek and live out the things that make us happy. I was no different. From the start I’ve always had a plan to get me there, a goal which I thought would lead me to happiness – to be a manager at a big company by the age of 25.

I’m turning 25 early next year, and I am nowhere near being that, yet, in a totally amazing way, I know that by my birthday, I will be able to say that I am happier than where I would have been if I had stuck to that goal.

Two years ago I found myself working at a normal corporate job, one that many of us would consider to be a great one, with above average pay and exceptional benefits. It was a job that could provide me a secure lifetime if I wanted, but I realized that although the job was great on paper, it was not what I was meant to be doing.

I eventually resigned, without any back-up job, and took a year off to work on myself and figure out what it is I wanted. I had been spending my whole life doing things for what I thought other people wanted for me and I needed the chance to just take a step back, be myself, and figure out my life.

Midway into my life-hiatus, I took an internship at Jacinto and Lirio. You know how they say sometimes it’s the most unexpected things sometimes that end up changing your life? Well, that was what this internship was for me.

People who know me usually say that I was one of the few who seemed to have it all figured out – had a life plan and everything, but the truth was, I had just been good at doing what I thought was right and expected of me. I had never stopped and just thought about what I expected of myself and what it is I truly wanted to be doing. That is until I was introduced to the world of business for social change by Jacinto and Lirio.

Social entrepreneurship was not a common life track to take for people my age. No one in my circle of friends had ever told me that they wanted to be a social entrepreneur. Through the internship with Jacinto and Lirio however, I realized that this is what I was meant to be involved in. The world, and our own country first and foremost, needs building, and as one of the lucky people blessed with the things I have, I felt a calling to make it my responsibility to do something about it and be the change I want to see in the world.

I also realized that to be a social entrepreneur is not just creating a business that does good for someone else, it is so much more than that. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication – so much more than the typical blood, sweat and tears. My internship has shown me both that this is what it is I want in life, at the same time, that maybe at this point, I’m not yet ready to make that step. Which is why for now,  I will be a social entrepreneurship advocate – spreading the good news about these great people doing so much for so many others (with a special mention of the two girls behind J&L, Noreen and Anne who inspire me a great deal), and supporting their businesses as much as I can.

It doesn’t take much to help build a better world as long as we all pitch in, and being able to realize the part I can play and developing that passion for it is the reason why I can say I’m happy where I am now and excited for what’s to come. I’ve realized, thanks to my time off and greatly to my internship at J&L what my real life plan was meant to be. I won’t go into all the details (especially since this entry is getting quite long. J). Suffice it to say that it’s turning about to be something I never expected, yet feels everyday like it’s where I’m meant to be.

Photo by: Tajen Sui

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