Payatas 13 in the Philippines is a place best remembered for its infamous dumpsite, which claimed hundreds of lives in an avalanche of trash back in 2000. It was a place of extreme poverty, filth, and tragedy.
Now, a nearby village paints a different picture. Villagers no longer sift through trash; instead, they dabble in textiles. Men print patterns on canvas, which the women then fashion into eco-bags.
Welcome to Payatas 13, a village transformed by the power of social entrepreneurship.
Payatas 13 experienced a turnaround when Mike Go, a Gawad Kalinga social entrepreneur, launched Trese livelihood projects back in 2008. The concept was simple; employ local residents, print shirts, and use the profit to fund community projects.
I am fortunate to know Mike Go and he invited me to Payatas Trese where I got to meet many of the residents whose lives had been transformed through livelihood projects. I also had a go at screen printing an eco-friendly Human Nature canvas bag.
Payatas Trese now makes my Furry Kind eco-friendly pet bandana for the Furry Kind by Human Nature pet line.