We established a community center in the area of Sambag II, Guadalupe, in Cebu City, where inhabitants live in slum-like conditions, many without running water and toilet facilities. Our Family Care Center has toilet and shower facilities, in addition to a dental/medical clinic, a computer class room, and a kitchen.
A lot of activities take place at our Family Care Center, among them our Micro Enterprise Program for Women. When we did our initial needs assessment, we found that many of the mothers were unable to find any work other than washing laundry, because their education amounted to just a couple of years of elementary school. They have multiple children and did not earn enough to feed their children, much less to send them to school.
Under our program, women in the local community are instructed in how to make handbags, which are marketed for sale both locally and throughout Europe. The novelty here is that the materials are derived from recycled bags originally packaging rice or animal feed. The laminated sacks are produced in vivid colors, which makes the finished product all the more attractive.
The women who participate in the program are mothers of children from our Sponsorship for Education program, and the income they derive from the bag sales allows them a livelihood and the ability to to send their children to school. Interest in the program continues to grow so we have added more women to the program so that we can help more families to a better future.
Additionally, we helped set up a small business whereby the beneficiaries create greeting cards from recycled paper.