Empowering Communities through Craft-Making

 

                   During one busy weekday, a group of women working on various novelty items in a small production area in Naga City took a break to have their lunch. While eating their meals, they talked about the joys of their lives. One proudly announced that her young daughter would soon enter high school. Another was thrilled to have saved enough money to start her own small sari-sari store business. Meanwhile, the lady next to her was excited to see her husband who would visit her in a few days. The women who ate lunch that day all narrated pleasant experiences about their lives and were happy to share these stories with one another. The motley crew was just like any group of women friends who hang out with one another on weekends, similar to an all women’s club or association who regularly met for care-free, social activities. However, these ladies had no such freedom and existed in a forbidding environment no ordinary person wanted to be in. They were prison inmates, and their home was the Naga City jail. Although incarcerated, the women inmates felt happy and liberated. The reason for their happiness was the tremendous support and opportunity provided to them by Karaw CraftVentures Inc. A social enterprise engaged in the production and selling of novelty items in Naga City and to retail and institutional customers in Metro Manila. According to Karaw co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Mr. Paul Andrew C. Orpiada, he established the social enterprise to address the plight of a segment of society that had been given little attention by the private sector.

Although incarcerated, the women inmates felt happy and liberated. The reason for their happiness was the tremendous support and opportunity provided to them by Karaw CraftVentures Inc. A social enterprise engaged in the production and selling of novelty items in Naga City and to retail and institutional customers in Metro Manila. According to Karaw co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Mr. Paul Andrew C. Orpiada, he established the social enterprise to address the plight of a segment of society that had been given little attention by the private sector.

“There are only a few organizations that are involved in addressing the welfare of inmates,” he said. “It’s just the government that support their rehabilitation. But for private organizations, it is scarce for them to engage with inmates. I saw an unfulfilled market.”

 

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