Anchored on the Empowering Women, Peaceful Communities Project of the UN Women Asia Pacific, the Women Empowerment through Craft (WE Craft) is an 8-month long initiative that organized and capacitated 10 women-led cooperatives in Maguindanao and Basilan provinces on social cohesion, peace-building, and social enterprise. UN Women and The Moropreneur Inc co-implemented the project.
Over-all, 685 women; 36 men; 150 girls and 55 boys in medium-risk communities in Maguindanao and Basilan have increased their knowledge and skills on gender equality and social cohesion. The series of dialogues and orientation regarding peace, gender equality, and social cohesion helped the target communities to be more sensitive towards the issue of conflict and violent extremism. It utilizes the Bridging Khalifah, a weekly dialogue and interactive sessions that promote positive values, leadership, respect and care to one’s self, others and the environment, has provided a safe space where the women, young boys, and girls shared critical information that could serve as early warning signs in combating negative values.
The project successfully aired radio and live-stream shows that tackled issues on social cohesion, gender, women empowerment, social enterprise, among others.
In Maguindanao, the established social enterprises include: handicraft (water hyacinth, pandan); inaul apparels; corn-based products; virgin coconut oil; coconut sugar; coconut soap. While in Basilan, the SEs include bamboo tea and straw; cassava chips; dried seafood; handicraft using pandan and silal; and Yakan fabric tenon.