‘Tis officially the season for giving and receiving gifts. While we may be ready with our wish lists, why not make room for meaningful gifts that can change lives and keep on giving beyond the holidays?
If you’re still shopping, consider adding Likhaya’s upcycled products to your list. From star and bird ornaments that make perfect holiday decorations, to very practical lanyards to hold the masks we now all wear for safety, plus a wide range of paper bead jewelry that make great conversation pieces, you are sure to find a Likhaya product for many, if not all the names on your holiday list.
From street mother to upcycle jewelry maker, Arlene proudly wears her specialty Bungisngis earrings.
Likhaya's star ornaments are their top seller, especially during the holiday season.
At only P100, these practical lanyards come in handy for all mask-wearing Pinoys.
Virlanie Foundation trained street mothers to make a wide range of paper bead jewelry.
This five-pendant necklace called Marikit is made of upcycled magazines with a black string crafted by the street mothers of Tondo, a community supported by Virlanie Foundation.
Likhaya takes its name from Filipino words “LIKHA” which means “create”, “SAYA” which means “happiness”, “KAYA” which means “able” or “ability”, “LAYA” which means freedom, and “PAMILYA” which means family. Such a rich etymology mirrors the many noble objectives this social enterprise hopes to achieve.
Likhaya is championed by the 30-year old Virlanie Foundation, a non-profit organization that cares for disadvantaged children and also assists families in the streets and poor communities in Manila. According to Marie Francoise Michel, the Foundation’s Street Program Manager, Likhaya enabled them to support mothers from the streets to earn an income while staying where they are and keep an eye on their modest belongings.
“Recycling and upcycling are common activities for the families. About 60% of the families we serve do scavenging. It is their main source of income. They sort out the materials they get and re-use or transform them like dyeing old discarded clothes and wearing them afterwards, turning an old refrigerator into shelves for their room, and many others,” relates Michel.
Around 10 years ago, the Foundation proposed to train the mothers in jewelry making, using colorful paper upcycled from old magazines. “At the beginning, the activity started small. Over time, more and more mothers were trained.”
Arlene, one of the street mothers, considers the Bungisngis Single Earrings design as her specialty. She is grateful to Likhaya for the opportunity to make extra income and dreams for her 2 children to finish school and have a better life than the one she had herself.
Likhaya’s upcycling activities have since expanded to now cover sustainable handcrafted bags and many personal and home accessories. Michel proudly shared that all their products sell quite well. “They receive good feedback on their quality, aestheticism, and the upcycle process.” However, the team’s difficulty is marketing them and finding buyers in a sustainable way.
And so here comes in social media. Whenever possible, they join bazaars to introduce their products to new audiences. But if there are no scheduled market days, you can go to Virlanie Foundation’s Facebook page to view the products and chat to place orders. You can also contact Virlanie Foundation at (02) 8895 5260.
With every Likhaya upcycled product you buy, you are extending a helping hand to Arlene and other street mothers and their families, as well as healing our planet. And based on personal experience, it’s 100% guilt-free shopping like looking good showcasing one of a kind paper bead jewelry and accessories.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.