NGO helps Filipino single moms thru recycling project

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By Kaye Mangabat

SAN RAFAEL, BULACAN- A US-based non-government organization (NGO) that helps women now has a chapter in the Philippines.

Formed in 1921, Soroptimist seeks to help women through various livelihood and upliftment projects. Soroptimist” comes from two Latin words, “soror,” meaning sister and “optima” meaning best.

The organization has 1,430 clubs with 38,171 members in 19 countries and territories including the Philippines. Soroptimist helps single moms earn a living by teaching them how to recycle and make bags and wallets from newspapers.

“The group helps promote going green to help the environment, and they also help single moms to provide for their family,” Elsie Lacaba says in Filipino.

Soroptimist in the Philippines is headed by Mariquita Castelo, a Filipina, and Betty Beck Prosser, an American.

“They are not only supporting and helping women, they also teach us how to recreate something from recycled materials that help us earn and save the environment at the same time,” she adds.

The bags are made mainly from newspapers which are coated and sewed. The bags are ideal for grocery and shopping and are also waterproof.

“We also make wallets and pouches or anything that we can think of,” she says. The price ranges from 200 pesos for regular size bags and up to 500 pesos for large ones.

Soroptimist also has chapters in Davao, Baguio, Naga, Cebu, Cabanatuan, Iriga, Malolos, Daet, and Dagupan, among other areas.

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