One of the guiding principles of my life is to strive to do good. When faced with a conundrum on whether to purse something, one of the deciding factors is the impact it will have on others. Will it make someone feel better? Will it make someone smile today? Will it alleviate someone’s pain?
I am a firm believer in women helping women, and that women can go beyond what is “expected” of them. It is a woman’s power to be whoever she wants to be: mother, wife, professional, entrepreneur, artist, single, married, etc. She can be one “and” the other, not necessarily one “or” the other. A woman who contributes to her family, society – the world.
Along this vein, I chose my passion project for the coming year. I will be supporting the women of the village of Uhaj in the Ifugao province of the Philippines. These women tend to the famous and picturesque rice terraces – a true treasure of the Philippines and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, with the call of higher earnings elsewhere, many have left these ancestral lands.
Through a Philippine social enterprise called Knitting Expedition, the women of the village, who learned to knit as a livelihood skill, now earn supplemental income by creating quirky toys, home accessories, and woolly warmers. Continuing the legacy of the Ricefield Collective, the women of Uhaj can continue to stay on their ancestral lands and tend the rice terraces which has provided sustenance for generations of their families.
To help the Uhaj ladies, I will be creating a collection of knitting patterns for home and bath accessories that evoke the beauty of the Cordillera mountain region. From the sale of each pattern, US$0.50 will go to the ladies of the collective for the sole purpose of purchasing and maintaining their knitting tools and equipment to continue honing their craft skills.
The first pattern in this collection is the “Twisting Lanes Washcloth”. The twisting cables along the sides of the cloth are evocative of the twisting roads that one must take to get to the mountain ranges where these women live and work.
To ensure transparency, every quarter I will release a report on how many copies of the pattern have sold and how much has been allocated to the Uhaj fund.
I hope you will see it fit to support this venture. I am looking forward to sharing the joy of helping others with you.