By Freida Dario-Santiago
Amidst the five-star resorts lining Boracay’s White Beach, there is still widespread poverty in our community. Lumago Designs, a social enterprise and livelihood program from Dumaguete City, visited the island this past October and teamed-up with Lazy Dog Bed & Breakfast and the Philippine Red Cross Boracay-Malay Chapter to conduct a workshop with youth volunteers.
Lumago Designs enables women living under the poverty line in Dumaguete to earn a fair and reliable living wage through handcrafted and upcycled accessories, enabling the artisans to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Through the workshop with Lumago, the volunteers were taught how to make different types of paper beads which have multiple benefits, namely reducing trash in our community, making beautiful jewelry without the use of seashells or other nonrenewable resources, providing meaningful livelihoods, and sparking conversations about our environment.
Using shells collected from our beaches or plastic beads can be harmful to our surroundings. As an island community relying heavily on tourism, our marine life is extremely vulnerable and something we must consistently strive to protect. Lumago Designs’ tireless and devoted CEO Becky Stanbridge tells us, “With this newfound skill, the youth volunteers were inspired and opportunities for local communities were discussed. The most popular was to organize a program for making leis for the island’s resorts to use in welcoming visitors, instead of shell leis, offering our visitors and local stakeholders a way to support our communities while giving back to mother earth.” One of the promises Lumago Designs makes is to share opportunities with communities in need. As a social enterprise, they are economically and environmentally sustainable and form meaningful relationships with everyone up and down their supply chain.
You can find one-of-a-kind Lumago Designs products at Here & Now at D’Mall, at The General Store at Coast Boracay, or online at www.lumagodesigns.com.