Social enterprise presents products of people with disabilities
AN ARTIST, Jana Gan, paints colorful landscapes and portraits which are available online through Jana atbp. Meanwhile, Special Hands by Nina features painted abaca and eco-friendly bags, as well as sticker sets with images of Nina Bantoto, an artist with autism. The business of deaf arts and crafts maker Chindee Cruz, CLCreates, offers personalized products for special celebrations such as birthday cakes, gifts and giveaways.
These are three of the 15 young artists and entrepreneurs whose works and products are available in the new social enterprise for people with disabilities (PWD) called Precious Works of Differently Aled Enterprise (PWDe).
PWDe – pronounced like “puede“, Filipino work for” can do “- is a non-profit social enterprise that aims to provide a space where people with disabilities can deliver their goods and services to the public.
During the company’s online launch on July 23 via Zoom and streamed live via Facebook, Arlene Tan-Bantoto, founding member of PWDe and mother of an artistic daughter with autism, emphasized the importance of inclusiveness and opportunities among PWDs.
âWe believe that people with disabilities should be granted equal rights and opportunities to contribute to society,â Ms. Tan-Bantoto said.
She and three other people involved formed PWDe. The other founders are Archie David, who established Independent Living and Learning Center (ILLC), a school for children with special needs; Princess Schuck, an actress and marketing professional with a passion for supporting people with disabilities; and Elyse Go, co-founder of Hand and Heart, a social enterprise that facilitates jobs and livelihoods for people with disabilities.
âWe hope this innovative project will help our friends with disabilities find a way to live in the midst of the pandemic,â said Archie David, co-founder of PWDe and executive director of ILLC.
In line with the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, which was observed from July 17 to 23, the newly established business was launched as an online bazaar on Lazada on July 21.
âWe are very happy to continually support this community. What we have been doing this week is just the startâ¦ Hopefully the community grows as we are very ready to help them. Let’s show them how talented the community can be with the different products they sell, âsaid Yshana Wong, Senior Partner for Business Development Services at Lazada.
The online bazaar features manufactured products and services to be provided by deaf people, people with autism and Down’s syndrome, people with physical disabilities and other people with disabilities.
The online bazaar includes food products (French macaroons, no-bake cheesecakes, samgyupsal sets, buko pandan, macaroni); handicrafts and gifts (paintings, floral arrangements and personalized baskets, table runners, saori weaves, drawstring pouches and T-shirts); and services (encoding, cleaning, sign language lessons, graphics and photography).
âThrough an online platform, we hope to create a market where buyers can meet and do business together,â David said.
âPWDe is slated to launch programs such as this online bazaar, [offering] fair opportunities for entrepreneurs with disabilities [who] need to do business with potential clients and clients. Initially, we invited a select group of entrepreneurs with disabilities to join us … but we hope that with everyone’s support we can hire more salespeople, even those from different parts of the Philippines who are not necessarily affiliated with any of the above. our organizations, âhe added.
PWDe is supported by JCI Manilena, Lazada Philippines and the National Commission on Disability Affairs.
The products and services are available on the dedicated page of the bazaar on the Lazada website or application, Valuable works of the company with different capacities (lazada.com.ph). – Michelle Anne P. Soliman