My partner social enterprise Lumago Designs is a sustainable/fair trade jewelry brand based in Dumaguete, Philippines. Check out these videos to learn more about the brand and their beautiful artisans!
Video 1: Bead the Change
Video 2: The Voices of Lumago Artisans
Video 3: More from the Artisans
Most of the time I feel that Filipinos have come so far in terms of being more progressive in their views — then something comes up on social media that makes me question my belief, which in turn leaves me wondering if Filipinos really are the progressive thinkers I thought they were.
It's undeniable that there's a growing number of Filipinos who have become more vocal in their fight for women's rights and feminist advocacies. However, I honestly think that there are more people who still believe that women are meant to be “homemakers” and “child-rearers”.
I’ve realized that this view on women may be rooted in one thing: education. The more knowledgeable you are, the deeper understanding you have towards changes that occur in society, ergo, you become more tolerant of such changes.
But remember that the Philippines is home to several poverty-stricken communities whose youth can't afford to go to school (as they’d rather get a job to help their families), and even if they can, they aren’t really getting the best quality of education. In some rural areas, certain communities barely have access to education. Some students have to walk long distances because schools are often several miles away. Because education is unattainable for some poor families, their idea of what they can be may be restricted to what is dictated by tradition and their limited view of society/the world. In this day and age, it still boggles my mind to see that in some marginalized communities, mothers are the ones who stay at home to care for their children while the fathers become the breadwinners. But when you think about it, maybe these women just don’t realize that it's possible to reach for something more.
This is why I think social entrepreneurship anchored on sustainability is the business model of the future. You as a budding social entrepreneur can be the game changer. Establishing a business with the intention of helping people and the environment is already a winning strategy. You can support not only a community’s livelihood but also provide them with the necessary training and education to enhance their skills. Believe in these communities — bet on them!
There’s more to women than being carers for their children. As a social entrepreneur, you can help them realize their strengths and develop their talents. The more they understand themselves, the more likely they will discover their worth as women and as human beings. They know that they can offer more, but they just probably don’t believe they can do something about it. This is where you — we — come in. Empowering the most vulnerable in society can be the fire that ignites the most significant change we can ever hope for.