Zonta Club of Central Tuguegarao creates economic opportunities for local seamstresses

The Zonta Club of Central Tuguegarao, Philippines, called for mananahis (seamstresses) for its Bangkabuhayan (amalgamation of boats and livelihood), Bangkaligtasan (amalgamation of boats and safety) project. The project is funded by donations for relief, rehabilitation and disaster prevention in the wake of a massive flood last year. 

The club has completed the relief phase and is now in the rehabilitation and disaster prevention phase.  Rehabilitation is taking place in the form of financial and economic opportunities for women. Disaster prevention will include the boats for selected communities, survival kits and life vests. 

Instead of purchasing eco bags, the club has designated this as an item to be produced. This will create economic opportunities for seamstresses in the community. The materials will be provided and labor will be paid from the disaster fund. 

This project is a timely response to the Tuguegarao City Government's prohibition against the use of plastic bags and straws. The mananahis are currently producing eco bags that will go with the disaster survival kits under the Bangkabuhayan, Bangkaligtasan Project.

With Zonta's recent climate change statement, the club is proud to support environment preservation and rehabilitation. Club members have seen how these environmental challenges could easily become a gender-related concern. Thus, the club created their environment committee to address and implement environmental issues and projects. In addition to their recent eco bag project, the committee has also taken the lead on several other relief operations, rehabilitation and disaster prevention projects prioritizing women in the community.