She exhibited hard-work, expected less of the outcome, but reaped a stable income.
Leticia ‘Tisha’ Pilago, 46, who once collected trash for cash, now enjoys being both a home-maker and a bead-maker. Fate took a sudden twist when she joined her community’s “green” project and started earning money making paper beads and other crafts from recycled materials.
Serendipity, Opportunity, and Hope
She was among the pioneering group of women who began the “trash-for-cash” project in their community. Life was hard as she barely fed her eleven children from the money she earned collecting trash. And being transients in Cebu, her husband didn’t have a stable job. The children could not be schooled.
It was only when Nida, the community chairperson, initiated the “green” project that Tisha and her group were given new hope. It all started when Nida brought home a souvenir bracelet made of paper beads from her trip abroad. She then asked them to replicate the bracelet using the stacks of used magazines and waste materials they’ve piled up.
Seizing this opportunity, Tisha’s group learned paper bead making on their own —un-rolling the paper beads from the bracelet and trying out ways to re-assemble them.
Determination, Creativity, and Commitment
Tisha recalls her first output, a paper beads rosary bracelet, to be one tough struggle with creativity. But she soon learned to pay attention to detail and was able to improvise several patterns for varying the bead sizes.
She persisted and mastered the whole bead making process. Eventually, she and her eldest daughter became the fastest bead and craft makers in the group finishing a hundred designs or more per day.
With sheer determination and a firm commitment to learning her new livelihood, Tisha’s hard-work soon paid off. She was able to send her children to school and had more than enough for food and her family’s basic needs.
Tisha never really thought the little “green” project in her community would prove to be as profitable and valuable a cause until lately.
Tisha now hopes to spread a message of hope to more women in their neighboring communities. A hope that can shatter the bonds of poverty by sheer hard-work, determination, and a strong commitment to positive change.
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