Livelihood programs seek to stop poverty from replicating itself by using talents and skills from the community to create handicrafts. This is a creative and sustaining way to support the community financially. Livelihood programs generate income for urban poor families. CWTP has taken initiatives to help start, maintain and expand livelihood programs for the benefit of the community members. Livelihood programs not only create opportunities for those who are economically disadvantaged but also help community members build confidence and self-esteem.
By using natural resources, the skills, and diligence of community members, and partnering with other organizations, livelihood programs are able to run. The community members that participate in the projects tend to be women and mothers holding the pressure to care for their children. The mothers are trained in the specific projects and CWTP simultaneously works on the markets for the products. Projects such as water lily bags, paper bead earrings, juice pack wallets, tarpaulin bags, and rice bags are current livelihood programs running within the communities of the Philippines.
There have been numerous stories that affirm the assistance of the livelihood programs. A mother from Payatas was able to renovate her house through the support of the juice bags livelihood project. The ground to her house was soil-based and her roof was low, so it required her family to crouch down in order to move from place to place. After 8 months, she was able to save more than 30 thousand pesos (USD $600) from the juice pack bags livelihood project. She was able to renovate her house, concrete floor and raise her roof. There was also a point when her husband was unemployed for six months. The livelihood juice packs project was a sustaining source of income for her and her family.
Another mother that we work with has 10 kids and is a single mother. Her talents in sewing are being maximized in making juice pack bags and rice bags. By the support of the livelihood program, she has been able to send all her kids to school and has sufficient funds to pay for tuition. Putting food on the table and providing basic needs is no longer a worry for these two mothers and their families.