Monday, May 05, 2008

Nina Parks's Lady Bird for the month of May---Binggirl Clemente of the Philippines

On my daily surf of National Geographic's website I came across this interview with Binggirl Clemente. She has found a way to educate, employ, and give back to her community and that is why she is my Lady Bird muse of the month.

Manila activist turns poll banners into schoolbags

Wed May 30, 2007 5:51am EDT

By Michaela Cabrera

MANILA (Reuters Life!) - When Philippine children start the new school term next week, many of them will be carrying what used to be a political message on their shoulders.

Binggirl Clemente, an environmentalist, has collected tarpaulin campaign banners used for congressional elections two weeks ago and fashioned them into mailman-style school bags.

"We cut and made a simple pattern that we made into school bags. We thought maybe those children who are going back to school in June right after the election may be able to use this," she told Reuters at a her workshop, surrounded by piles of banners and scores of newly made bags.

Philippine congressional elections are a massive affair and even two weeks later, the scars of the campaign are still visible. Tatters of election posters litter the streets, walls are painted with graffiti and campaign banners remain strung up across roads in Manila and other cities.

Clement's small-scale operation has produced 4,500 bags, employing a handful of residents of a poor neighborhood in a Manila suburb.

Pedro Oringo and his wife Lorena make 400 pesos ($9), sewing 40 bags daily, which they say will go towards their children's education.

"At least the one going to college can pay his tuition. We're happy because the income we get from this really helps," Lorena said.

Clemente is paying the workers but is giving away the bags to underprivileged children. Continued...(taken from Rueters)


For bags recycled from pouches, call Amabelle Facturanan, sales & marketing officer, People's Recovery, Empowerment and Development Assistance (PREDA) Fair Trade, Kalaklan, Olongapo City, tel. (+63) (47)223-9629 to 30; Fax (+63) (47)223-96-28 or 29 or email, or visit website

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