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Weaving Peace and Prosperity thru natural and organic fibers

Uplifting the lives of the marginalized and vulnerable community through weaving indigenous products that is marketable and sustainable

Photo of Salika Samad
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Weaving is a livelihood that has long been a souce of income for most of the marginalized and vulnerable people from all over the world. This industry is now suffering extinction due to the industrialization and big companies that caters to the fashion industry and these companies mostly doesn't care about the impact of the materials they use for their fabric. 

As we preserve this kind of traditional weaving and at the same time give an opportunity of livelihood, we wish to use materials that are not harmful to the environment and to the people of the future. Given the proper tools, knowledge, and resources, we would like to cultivate our own raw materials such as the thread that we will be using for our weaved fabric.

It will open up opportunities for job creation, investments, and income generation for the community. These community are the vulnerable people often recruited for violent extremism, victim of human trafficking, deprived of justice, and many more that often results conflict. 

The weaved fabric can then be sewed for clothing, for bags, shoes, and many other fashionable wear that can be exported world wide. We can then open a company that will make these products thus creating more job opportunity for others.

By creating a bridge that will connect these people to the right investment, to the market, and then create a demand for this kind of products, the hand weaving industry is one of the many solutions that can end poverty, end conflict, and save the planet.

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The project is to bridge or connect all three major aspect of challenge that is build a social enterprise that will create job and income opportunities, being that one important key to achieve peace and harmony in the community. This social enterprise is about weaving indigenous and non-toxic materials into fabric that is traditional and at the same time earth friendly. We would like to encourage more people to stop using synthetic materials that is harmful to the planet, patronize products that are natural and safe for all living creatures. The challenge now is about scaling the enterprise to a larger capacity which will give wider range of impact as to the beneficiaries, key partners, and to the community as a whole. As a social enterprise we need to have atleast a working capital for atleast two years, but because of what happened and what we are going through as a refugee, as a survivor of the marawi siege, we are very much limited to operate properly. We have projected that after two years of operation we can be independent and replicate in 5 years time. Given the proper tools and power to operate the social enterprise, the project is very potential in terms of profitability and marketability. The fabric bears identity and culture, it tells stories of the people from where it came from. We want to share to the world who we were, what we are going through and hope to be in the future. Through the fabric, we would achieve the prosperity we had hoped and worked upon, we will find peace and unity among our selves and among the others, and that the fabric is made up of all natural, organic and earth friendly so it doesn't destroy the planet and its people.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are the communities affected by the Marawi Siege and all other communities in Lanao del Sur areas. We call ourselves the SURVIVOR of the Marawi Siege. 80% of them are women, mostly mother's, grandmother's, and some children. It is our advocacy to encourage young people to engage in weaving because of cultural preservation matter. We also want to encourage men to weave because of the opportunity it can give equal to the opportunity for the women. It is by building a great opportunity in terms of profitability and sustainability through weaving that young people may engage in the business.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The idea is unique in terms of location and the community it serves. We want the idea to be replicated and become a success in the different part of the world in hope to address the issues on poverty, peace, and planet. What is advantageous for us is that we are among the beneficiaries because I am a wife of a weaver, daughter of a weaver, and my child now also weaves. This is a family business and from our experience, weaving had become our source of income when we became a refugee because it is in our bloodstream. Whichever and wherever we may be, this skill can never be torn away from us and we survived. We want others to follow and we want to grow with them. It is a crusade that we believe God had gifted us with. And even if other organization is doing the same thing we do, the world is a big stage and the only left shining the brightest are the people that truly cares, for herself, for her family, and with the community.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

The Maranao Collectibles is a social Enterprise that was born during the height of the marawi siege that preserves and revive the traditional weaving to make it a sustainable and responsible livelihood for all Maranao. https://www.facebook.com/weavingfordreams

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years
  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

My mother worked very hard when my father died 20years ago in hope that when we are all finished schooling she can retire and live good life with us. She taught us how to weave to support us financially but the siege took everything away from us. Weaving gave us hope, to start a new life, and a new opportunity to realize the dream of my mother. Weaving healed us in a way that it gave us peace of mind and departs our pain in the current situation. We wanted to share the same success to others.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

There was once a man said "How can we talk about peace if our tummy crumbles of hunger and pain?". Peace and Prosperity works hand in hand together and mostly conflict arise when there is poverty. We set aside our selves, our pride, our culture when the stomach asks for food much more if you see your family suffering the same. We don't need to be a degree holder or title holder for us to be given the opportunity for job or work compensation. We just can't wait for the government to take action immediately, most of the time we have to show them how as an individual, as a private institution. Our planet is now suffering from a disease called garbage which consist mostly of plastic, non recyclable, unnatural, and non decomposing materials which can live forever than the turtle. We should start the awareness on using natural fibers and raw materials to the fashion industry as this is one of the major garbage being thrown everyday and kills the planet and all that's living in it.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

The beneficiary community - this is an opportunity for preserving our identity, it is by their active participation that they can learn the skill and pass it on to the next generation. The Local Government Unit - The LGU will have to play major role in terms of support system and patronizing the product. It can become its first and major client in terms of product and services. CSO and other NGOs - These partners will carry the product out of the community to the different parts of the world. They can help us build better and competitive products to present our fabric and its uses. Investors and Donors - They can fuel up the enterprise and gear up the production and the pace of the project. Education and Training Institute - They can help us train new recruits, encourage others to learn, and eventually give free training and development on skills and production quality. Designers and Product Developers- The fabric needs to be adorned or turn into a new product that is marketable

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The community had been through a lot after the siege and we continue to battle for our properties and lives to be returned to us. Being striped off of all our belongings and property, we are starting from humble beginnings. We also want to trace back our roots and identity and tell the world the beauty of our culture. The community is eager to learn opportunities on livelihood, and take the advantage of that opportunity for good. I think that the best quality is being resilient.

Geographic Focus

The Marawi City is part of the Lanao del Sur of the ARMM or Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The project already started and we are looking into a scale up or development of an industry that the enterprise can turn to from being a home based entity. In two years time, if given the working capital and investment, we are confident that we have gained enough profit to generate its own operation costs and start repayment for the donors or investors. Or we can also replicate the same enterprise or industry on to different location.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

6 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Scott L.
Team

Dear Salika,
lovely idea, and a brave project to undertake in this region. I find it particularly important that you also engage men in the process. Do you also have some access to the thread production, which would allow you to offer for instance “organic” material to the weavers? Also, does the market (local or international?) have the capacity to absorb the new scale of production? Also, who is engaged in the design of the patterns?
Again, very interesting!
Best,
Scott @ Turquoise Mountain

Photo of Luz Gallo
Team

Hey Salika,
Loved the idea! Here in South America there are a lot of communities that are trying to rescue this past knowledge by exploring the technique, encouraging locals and also offering them a market for their products. A good case was a Colombian handcraft entreprise that was owned and promoted by the president's sons which supported several colombian indigenous communities. Having said that, have you considered a way to promote these products by engaging external actors?

Photo of Angi Yoder Maina
Team

Dear Salika Samad 

I love that you are using your deep cultural traditions of weaving to support healing in your community in a very small but powerful engagement. In a violent world full of garbage and plastic, I believe this type of intervention is our future. Good luck with all the work you are doing and I pray for your success.

Angi.

Photo of Leah Gage
Team

Salika Samad, thank you for your resiliency, tenacity and advocacy. I love that you are a member of the community, advocating for your culture and for your representation. I love that you are undertaking to support the cultural practice of weaving while ensuring that sustainable materials are being utilized. This is such an empowering project. In the indigenous communities I have worked with and visited, the weaves and garments are always so vibrant and echoe the resiliency of these communities. I also know that so much of these are usually used with synthetic materials that are themselves not good for the earth. I love the unique, personal way you present this story and wonder at if it is successful, to utilize the framework for other indigenous communities.

Photo of Jaskeerat Bedi
Team

Hi Salika Samad , Thank you for sharing your post to OpenIDEO. Cultural artifacts are a great way to bring prosperity and in co-relation bring economic development to communities. Would love to learn more about some of the traditional weaves of your region? What is the weaving process? How long does it take to learn? Where are some areas that you have been selling? What kind of awareness would you like to do in order to scale this idea?

It might be a good idea to post some images of the weaves created by the community, or stories about the community!

Photo of Rahma Yassin
Team

Great challenge!