Nation-building through self-development and by supporting the local economy

To help young Filipino men and women clarify and put into action personal and nation-building values, the Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) launched its “Values Development Program” this week.

“Nanays” of Maria de la Strada parish busy making pretty bags and containers

Through a series of 12 video modules that combine lecturettes, testimonies, dramatizations of illustrative situations, animation, music, and group discussions, the program intends to bring the youth, 16 to 25, through a process of self-discovery and values clarification.

The overall aim is to develop or enhance cornerstone values and competencies for transformative leadership, such as emotional intelligence, creativity along with discernment, and critical thinking.

Upon completion of the program, it is hoped that the participants would have begun to be aware of their own personal values and link these to values necessary toward building relationships, especially within their families, and expanding these to the community and the larger nation.

Development organizations, schools, civic associations, and other groups, as well as interested individuals, are invited to partner with TOWNS in implementing the VDP by hosting sessions with groups of students or youth. Currently, the TOWNS Foundation is headed by broadcaster Ces Drilon, with Deanie Lyn Ocampo as vice-president. TOWNS counts more than a hundred women awardees honored for their individual accomplishments and work in advocating and advancing nation-building. Happy Women’s Month!

The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.

—Albert Einstein

Beautiful woven bags and “bayongs” are now gracing the arms of many ladies. The creations of the “Nanays and their families” in Pansol, Balara, Kaingin 1 & 2 of the Sta. Maria Della Strada Parish are convenient, practical, and pretty. I got one for a birthday treat and it certainly was a beautiful and very useful gift! Made from sturdy smooth plastic strips, the bags are recyclable, washable, resistant to alcohol, and disinfectants. They are the perfect pandemic purses with lots of room to put your stuff in.

The project of handcrafting the handbags was started to help feed families during the quarantine when many nanays and tatays lost their jobs. The Della Strada parish leaders guided by parish priest Fr. Aytoy Opiniano formed Helping Hands of Tienda Della Strada to provide income to the displaced parishioners. Creativity and inspiration flowed and the handbag line grew to fashionable designs in all colors and weaves.

The livelihood project helps mothers during the pandemic

Baskets, boxes, hampers, plant holders, table runners, and placemats are also bestsellers. The crafters have included crocheted creations, face masks, and other home accessories among their products. An administrative team, all volunteers from the professional ranks of the parishioners, has been formed to help the community workers and act as creative, finance, marketing, and human resource consultants.

Helping Hands has involved the workers with their patrons with their slogan: “The more you buy, the more you help.” This has made shopping guilt-free and relevant.

Orders are accepted by Mary Rose 0917-325-5019. So, what are you waiting for ladies? They make handy containers too for household linens and stuff!