Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Women of GK SunshineVille: Eco-Friendly Bag Weavers

I feel strongly about causes empowering women. I support social advocacies that give women a good confidence boost, enabling moms to take care of their family more by giving them opportunities to earn a living and control over of their households.

This is what Gawad Kalinga's SunshineVille is all about. Gawad Kalinga in Tagalog means to 'Give Care' and they are definitely living up to their name.

In the Philippines, GK is a nation-building movement, that engages all sectors of society from the government, academe, corporate, religious, NGOs, and private citizens. Together, we are building a first-class Philippines one community at a time. - GK1World.com


Today, Gawad Kalinga and HSBC Philippines has taken an eco-friendly initiative with the help of Zesto Cooperation by creating trendy, recycled doypack bags.

These Doy labels for fruit juices are the print rejects from the factories that would otherwise be thrown away.

The GK Women produce durable weave basket and bags from the doy packs.

Each woman makes an average of 3 large bags per working day. Mind you, they are not easy to make, they are a result of a lot of hardwork and dedication from these moms.

One of their fine products- the silver reusable bags

Bags galore! Large Juice Doypack Weave Bags

GK Sunshine Village accepts bulk orders, you may also visit the workshop to buy a number of bags to resell. If you are very enterprising and you need a supplier, you may also bring your own raw materials and designs, and they can give you an estimate of the cost per bag with the labor fees. You can make arrangements with what kind of bag, purse, pouch, totes, box, cushion covers you may need. The staff are very accomodating and the center really needs this kind of business to come their way.

Mr. Bong Ragojos, the project director for the the GK workshop explaining the work process.

Mr. Ragojos volunteers his time to manage the business aspect and the productivity of the workshop until the GK community is able to sustain itself. The task will eventually be handed over to the women community leaders. 

Right across the workshop is the GK Sunshine Village. A small housing community that shelters the families from the workshop. The Goal of Gawad Kalinga is to build 700,000 homes in 7,000 communities in 7 years.

Water lilies sun dried and harvested are made into baskets and homewares. What's amazing is the GK community has used up all the water lilies clogging their creek. Hope we could do the same for the Pasig river :)

One of the sons of the GK women, 'Tire Rollin' is the play of the season.

In the workshop, I met Aling Charing, one of the weavers. Aling Charing tells me that the GK community has really helped her family through tough times.

It's a big help living here she says, the schools are close to home and our place of work. You don't have to spend so much on transport fare. Most of the husbands work within the neighborhood as tricycle drivers or as weavers in the GK workshop.

She owns one of the charming townhouse units within the GK Village. Aling Charing is so ma-chika (friendly), she even offered me lunch of Pepsi and Ginataang Kuhol (Escargot en lait de noix de Coco)  :)

The Fellowship of the Nuffies: We had a lovely lunch of Coke and Jollibee Chicken Joy (Poulet frit par l'abeille gaie)

Tropical Ice Cream anyone?

To Miss Patty of Nuffnang Philippines and Miss Abby of HSBC, I'm thankful for the experience and I wouldn't mind revisiting the GK Sunshine Village again.

To visit GK Sunshineville, here is their address:
Carnival Park Street,
BF Resort Village, Talon 2
Las Pinas City

Mr. Bong Ragojos
Project Director
Telephone +632 917-390-7861
+632 919-612-0202

Thess Barameda of GKonomics
4/F Pro-Friends Building, 55 Tinio Street, Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
Tel: (02) 718-1738
E-Mail Address: gkoncepts.info@gmail.com

Click to enlarge map to Carnival Park Street in Talon Dos, Las Pinas. GK Sunshine Ville is along this stretch. I'm still working on the map on how to get there, so just visit this post again next week.


Anonymous said...

I remember seeing those doypack bags on an international website, and they're being sold outside the Philippines. Maraming foreigners ang naaliw doon. You can find it in Firebox.com, it's called recycled juice bags. :D

madhatter said...

Oooh thanks for the tip on Firebox :)

Its really something when you get to see these bags made by our fellow Filipinas, there is so much devotion poured into the craft with their bare hands :)