It was 1:30 in the afternoon of August 31. The doors of Virlanie’s office opened to some unusual set up: Pearls, glue, rulers and scissors were laid out on two large tables, waiting to be used. A small but eager group of 10 people entered the room, and were welcomed by enthusiastic instructors, ready to share their knowledge. It was time for Likhaya mothers to conduct their very first eco-jewelry workshop!

Promoting sustainable living

Once the members of the group got to know each other a little better, the workshop started with a presentation of the Likhaya brand. Toni Flores, Virlanie Social Entrepreneurship Manager led the presentation. She explained how mothers of Tondo, Manila, were trained through Virlanie street and community pillar, to create jewelry and accessories with up cycled materials. Also, with the help of the brand Likhaya, their creations are marketed and sold which allows the mothers to secure a stable revenue and even save money in order to launch their own livelihood project.

“The aim of this workshop is to make the participants become more aware of the benefits of a sustainable lifestyle, build awareness around social entrepreneurship, and of course, teach the technique to create jewels out of up cycled magazines,” Flores said.

Flores explained how to start having a more sustainable lifestyle in 3 steps: think, identify, and resolve.

Step 1: Think about 3 habits in your life which you would like to change
It could be smoking, consuming to much plastic, waking up too late…

Step 2: Identify three sources that trigger these habits.
Why do you smoke? It could be when you’re with a group, it could be to relax more…

Step 3: Convert those problematic issues with three new habits
Instead of smoking to relax, you could try to meditate, or find another relaxing hobby.

An afternoon of creativity

(From Left to Right) Mothers: Mirna, Emelita and Jennifer

Three mothers especially made the trip from Tondo, to explain their lifestyle, and teach the participants the techniques of creating sustainable jewels. Mirna, Jennifer and Emelita are the three team leaders of Likhaya, and the ones teaching their techniques to the new recruits of the social enterprise.  They were proud to share their knowledge, and help the attendants throughout the process of creating new jewels.

Mirna, started explaining how to create straight beads, while the other two mothers tried their best to help the participants. With the concentration at its peak, each participant carefully cut straight lines of paper in Magazine sheets, and started rolling them in colorful pearls.

Jennifer, took over, to explain the fabrication of the cone bead. This requires a little bit more of technique, but thanks to the mothers’ help, everyone around the table was able to create their own beads.

Finally, Emelita, showed the attendants how to create snail beads. Another sheet of magazine, another technique, and another success for all attendants!


How to create magazine-based beads:

Step 1: Choose your magazine page.
Make sure that the whole page is colored and avoid having to much letters that can be visible

Step 2: Trace lines on the sheets, and cut accordingly
Parallel lines for the straight beads, and triangles for the others

Step 3: Roll the paper strips, and glue

Step 4: Put the beads in a varnish

Step 5: Let it dry and create your bracelets with different colors and bead shapes!

The workshop ended in a joyful atmosphere, while all participants finished their self-made jewels, and received a certificate acknowledging their participation to the workshop.

The mothers of Tondo said that they had been waiting for a long time for this opportunity, and were truly proud to share their knowledge. After this first successful experience, they are eager to lead another workshop and continue spreading their art knowledge.

Likhaya plans to conduct another workshop so stay tuned for more information. Learn a new skill, save the environment, and support community mothers!