The Sitio Bakal is home to over 500 households located in Brgy. Bagong Silangan, Quezon City. Their situation is no different from other rural areas where basic services and opportunities are limited. But, amid the uncertainty brought by the pandemic, the hope and faith of the community are still high and outrageous.
About 20 women come together in 5-day training programs on Basic Sewing Operation and Basic Bag Designing and Development by the Department of Science and Technology-NCR in partnership with the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) and Good Neighbors PHL.
Despite being busy doing their reproductive roles like taking care of their families, these women paved the way to commit their time learning and fulfilling their dream to be financially independent.
These training programs are part of the Upcycling Project of Good Neighbors PHL, the Department of Science and Technology, Sun Life Foundation, and Barangay Bagong Silangan LGU. The said project promotes and anchors on three sectoral concerns such as environment, women empowerment, and economic opportunities and development. It can be realized through alternative income-generating activities for the households by creating/producing bags out of used tarpaulins as substitutes for plastic bags.
The training was made possible through the facilitation of the Professors from TUP, spearheaded by Prof. Annalyn Gebe, together with Prof. Merryl Florano.
On the last day of the training, several feedback and comments have been received from the participants, partners, and stakeholders. As stated, “We are all very delighted. Because almost all of us do not really know about it from the beginning. It is a great privilege for all of us that you come here to our place to allow us to learn and also provide us additional income someday,” said Mary Ann Asis, one of the participants.
(“Lahat po kami lubos na nasisiyahan. Kasi halos lahat po kami sa umpisa po hindi po talaga kami marunong. Isa pong malaking privilege po sa aming lahat ito na dumatin po kayo dito sa lugar namin para bigyan kami ng pagkakataon na matuto at bigyan din po ng pagkakakitaan balang araw.”)
One of the trainers, Prof. Merryl Florana stated, “This community has a long way to go. Work hard as a community. Let’s help each other rise. If you have learned something you can share it with others so that everyone will improve.”
(“Malayo ang mararating ng komunidad na ito. Pagsumikapan ninyo bilang isang komunidad. Tulungan natng umaangat ang bawat isa. Kung may natutunan kayo maaari ninyong i-share sa iba para lahat kayo sabay-sabay aangat.”)
The training does not end here but will continue to plan together with the community to enhance and expand this project for them.
“We will work even harder to find more resources so that we can continue this project because your dream is also our dream. Our mission is to improve your situation in Sitio Bakal, especially the situation of women in your community. Because when your life improves, our young people’s lives will definitely be improved as well,” said Lorelyn Tamares, field manager of Sitio Bakal CDP.
(“Lalo kaming sisipagin na maghanap pa ng mga resources para po ito ay maipagpatuloy natin kasi talaga pong yung pangarap ninyo ay pangarap din namin. Pangarap naming mai-angat yung kalagayan ninyo sa Sitio Bakal. Kalagayan ng mga kababaihan sa Sitio Bakal. Kasi ‘pag naangat ninyo ang buhay niyo dito yung mga kabataan natin siguradong aangat din ang kanilang buhay.”)
Ms. Jennifer Palaganas also expressed her thanks and message to the participants, “We can say we are successful if you are already earning. If you raise your lives, if you help your neighbors, that is success for us.”
(“Mas successful po kami ‘pag kumukita po kayo. Kung naiangat niyo ang inyong mga buhay. Kung natulungan po ninyo ang inyong kapitbahay, iyon po ang success sa amin.”)
The Barangay Bagong Silangan was very supportive of this project. Through Hon. Kagawad Fed Marcelo delivered a message and stated, “Your power as a woman is immense, vast. I hope we don’t stop at what we have, but use what the trainers from TUP have taught us through Good Neighbors and DOST.”
(“Iyong kapangyarihan ninyo bilang mga kababaihan ay napakalawak, napakalaki. Sana hindi tayo mahinto don sa kung anong meron tayo, bagkus king ano yung mga tinuro sa atin ng mga taga-TUP, sa pamamagitan ng Good Neighbors at DOST ay gamitin natin.”)
If you want to support our neighbors too, please donate to Good Neighbors Philippines.