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Budding OFW entrepreneur holds free tutorials

11 September 2017

Eleven OFWs from different provinces of the Philippines joined the first basic weaving workshop organized by Cristina Cayat, a fellow migrant worker who aims to get more Filipinos in Hong Kong interested in the craft.

Participants of the workshop held at The SUN office in North Point on Jul 30 learned the basic step of interlacing strips of cloth over looms made of recycled carton boxes picked up at a  supermarket.

Separately, Cayat, a proud Baguio native, conducted a free workshop on making tribal-inspired necklaces to the clients of Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge on Aug. 17.

Both seminars were supported by The SUN, where Cayat has been a longtime contributor of articles.

In keeping with her advocacy of using recyclable materials when possible, Cayat asked the participants in the cloth weaving training to bring old cotton t-shirts which they used as yarn for the weaving practice.

At the end of the three-hour tutorial, participants were able to create colorful looms that they were encouraged to turn into rugs, bags, pot holders, or whatever they fancy.

Their new skill could also be turned into a source of livelihood when they return home.

At the Bethune House, the participants were about 10 migrant workers who are staying at the shelter while pursuing labor and other cases. They were joined by members of a local volunteer group.

Cayat said the main purpose of reaching out to the distressed migrants is to help them develop a new skill that could help them de-stress. But those with a natural flair for creating accessories could also look at it as a potential source of income when they go back home.

The Bethune training was held in coordination with the shelter’s executive director, Edwina Antonio.

Among those who took part in cloth weaving was Lily Diaz from Bicol who is planning to return to her province next year. She said she is very keen on learning to weave because she is looking at it as one of the projects she would want to do on her return home.

Diaz said her grandmother used to weave using a loom, and most of their clothes while growing up were made from her lola’s craft.

Cayat’s weaving workshop has just been added to the Balikatan sa Kaunlaran livelihood projects, in addition to other crafts such as macrame bag, flower and balloon making, ribbon folding, and tocino and longanisa production. - DCLM

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