Lucia Calubay, 45, has been with Caritas Manila for only two weeks. A former sewer who used to work on clothing for 17 years, Lucia says that the Globe My Fair Share eco-bags were one of the first jobs she took on at Caritas.
“We finished more than 150 pieces in less than a week,” shares Lucia. “Yung kinita ko sa pagawa ng bags, pandagdag din sa binibigay sa mga anak ko.” Lucia has three children, the youngest is still in elementary school. Lucia’s husband is a company driver and the work she does for Globe’s My Fair Share program helps them with their daily expenses. “Siyempre, lahat ng anak ko nag-aaral pa at kailangan din ng pandagdag sa pambaon sa mga anak ko.”
Leonor Gonzales, 62, works with Lucia on the My Fair Share eco-bags. A Caritas Manila volunteer who often helped with the organization’s feeding programs, Leonor has also been sewing for seven years. She shares that the eco-bags were one of her favorite sewing jobs.
“They were easy to assemble and sew together!” she laughs. But the earnings she received from working on the eco-bags also help her get through the everyday ordeal of having to look for extra money.
Leonor’s grandchildren are often left with her and she has adopted two baby girls who were abandoned at a church.
Lucia and Leonor are just two of the women empowered by the My Fair Share Program of Globe Bridging Communities, the corporate social responsibility arm of Globe Telecom. The program, in partnership with social enterprise Gifts & Graces Inc., helps small producers such as women sewers of Caritas Manila, Pamana Pag-asa Boni Producers Cooperative in Mandaluyong, and Kaibhan Women’s Association in Bulacan, integrate into the Globe Telecom value chain.
The My Fair Share eco-bags are sold for P99 at all Globe Business Centers nationwide and through the Globe Online Shop. “The My Fair Share eco-bag project is an initiative that empowers the entrepreneurial poor while taking care of communities and the planet. Globe and Gifts & Graces have been working together since April 2012 with the shared goal of promoting fair trade, micro-entrepreneurship and improving lives,” says Rob I. Nazal, Head of Globe Corporate Social Responsibility.
To date, Globe has sold over 16,000 eco-bags which amounts to P1.4 million. According to Greg Perez, Executive Director of Gifts & Graces Inc., “Our work is focused on empowering community-based micro-enterprises. Communities have the skills. As a fair trade organization, we go beyond the provision of livelihood opportunities. Part of our engagement with our partners is a capacity building program for the communities which will help strengthen their entrepreneurial capacities.”
Beyond providing market access to small producers, Globe also extends ICT infrastructure support such as netbooks, Globe Tattoo Mobile Internet and Fixed Internet subscriptions to Gifts & Graces Inc. Globe will also assist community-based producers in gaining access to cheaper communications and financial services through BPI-Globe BanKo and the Globe BridgeCom SIM.
Adds Perez, “Because of the huge demand for the eco-bag, we’ve also tapped more communities such as Pamana Pag-asa Boni Producers Cooperative and Caritas Manila to help with the production.”
Pamana is a cooperative of urban poor families who craft products out of upcycled canvas and tarpaulins and whom Globe is helping by donating used tarpaulins and other materials that can be remade into quality handicrafts. Caritas Manila, on the other hand, is the lead Catholic agency for social services and development of the Archdiocese of Manila.
Doing one’s fair share
The My Fair Share Program portfolio of partners also includes local coffee farmers and handmade paper producers such as social enterprises Custom Made Crafts Center, Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation, and Bote Central to produce holiday products as corporate giveaways and gifts.
“The program transforms the way Globe gives back—not only by aiding partners and beneficiary communities with capital, funds for capacity and skills development and ICT tools—but also by empowering them with livelihood opportunities and giving them market access by bringing them into the Globe value chain.