Zonta Club of Central Tuguegarao launces a Knit and Crochet project to financially empower women

The service and fundraising committees of the Zonta Club of Central Tuguegarao, Philippines, organized a call for women hobbyists and stay-at-home craft lovers who belong to low or single-income families. With the launch of a Knit and Crochet (K&C) project, the club hosted various workshops and trainings to develop future income generating activities.

To start, there was a core group of knit and crochet beginners. One month later, the club met with members of the Tuguegarao City Association of Senior Citizens (TCASC) who composed an advanced group of crocheters to make more complex patterns for products.

The club also partnered with Padday na Yena, (Ybanag phrase for Made by Mothers), a livelihood project created for Cagayana mothers with a similar objective to empower stay-at-home mothers. Helping the women earn incomes not only boosted their self-worth, but also augmented their family's material needs. 

Padday na Yena is the idea of the fundraising sub-committee chair Janet Bunagan, who initially opened this opportunity to the wives of the laborers in her family construction business. Every month, the yenas (mothers) would gather and learn how to improve their craftsmanship, then make their products in the comfort of their homes and submit their output to the club. The club would then market the products through different selling platforms and online bazaars, particularly the Zonta Online Market (ZOM). This core group of now seven women, who are Cagayana mothers, derives pride from their work as they are able to help add to the family income despite restrictions brought by the pandemic. Their products include water bottle holders, alcohol and sanitizer holders, ear savers and face masks. A portion of their sales under the Knit and Crochet Project goes to the club to support its different programs.

The club's service and fundraising committees have raised the bar with their commitment to catering to the best interest of women in the community. With their untiring perseverance, they have been able to change lives one woman at a time, while helping the club with its various projects and advocacies.