Indigenous communities in the Philippines have been historically marginalized, resulting in social and economic disadvantages. This project will train 25 indigenous women on sewing and basic business practices in order to create a successful small business to generate income and improve their livelihoods. Over a nine-day training program, the women will learn machine maintenance, sewing techniques, business management, and marketing strategies. Upon completion of the training, the women will create five items to sell at a local festival and will continue to sell their products locally and outside the province.
Over nine days, 25 indigenous women participated in business development and sewing workshops led by local experts. Through these hands-on sessions, they learned about entrepreneurship, financial management, business plans, operation and maintenance of sewing machines, and how to read tape measurers as the majority of the participants do not know how to read or write. Throughout the training, the women sewed three items, which they intend to sell within their community. As a result of the workshops, the women created their own sewing association and have established bylaws and membership fees to ensure the sustainability of their small business.
"The sewing machine is a very big help to my family because my husband only earns through charcoal making. I will share what I learned from the training to my fellow IPs. Participating in the training is a blessing to them. I could have my own income and thus help my husband." - Epefania, Project Participant