Last September 18 and 19, 2018, Virlanie children showcased their talents and skills on social entrepreneurship at the Likhaya Expo, set in the SiBuHi Center for Creativity and Development, at the ground floor of Virlanie’s headquarters.
The Likhaya Expo was the culminating event of the Social Entrepreneurship Week: a competition that aimed at awakening Virlanie children’s entrepreneurial spirit and enabling them to utilize their inner talents.
A social business competition for all Virlanie beneficiaries
Two competitions were designed to hone Virlanie children skills and promote awareness on social entrepreneurship.
Own social business concept
With the guidance of the Virlanie Social Entrepreneurship Manager, Toni Flores, all beneficiaries came up with their own product and services for the exhibit. Before the expo proper the participants had to submit a 2-page product proposal (part of the judging) answering the following questions:
– What problem would you like to solve?
– What is your solution?
– Product description
– Why would I buy this product rather than the other products?
They also had to state the cost and price of their product, as well as their target income for the Expo day.
During the Likhaya Expo Day, the children amazed with value projects that they were able to set up with great professional skills.
Aime Home, Jade Home and Tanglaw Home children, as well as Mobile Unit mothers took part in the social business competition. Among the products and services they showcased were the following:
1. Customized hand-made bracelets
Aime Home children set-up a sale booth of hand-made bead-bracelets. Customers could choose between ready-made bracelets with positive quotes or customizable bracelets (customers can choose the beads and have their name on it). Aime Home children were noticed to show great business attitude in promoting their product among Virlanie staff.
2. Eco-friendly Christmas decorations
Street-based mothers of Mobile Unit program kick started the Filipino Christmas season by setting-up a beautiful booth of Christmas parols (Filipino version of lanterns) made of used newspapers. They also showed great professionalism by preparing pledge forms for orders and producing visuals detailing the unique stories behind the products they were selling.
3. Framed colorful mandalas
Tanglaw children displayed hand-colored mandalas that were framed and made unique because each piece had the name and story of the child who made it at the back. They sold it as a way to tell the story of the children through arts.
4. Foot spa and body massage
Jade home children and young adults came-up with the most popular service among their target market, Virlanie Staff. They came up with the idea of easing stress and anxiety of all of these busy workers through foot spa and body massage. They were resourceful enough to utilize home-grown plants and materials that they collected in Jade Home’s backyard to create scrubs and soothing oils, which allowed them to keep the cost at a minimum and made their service affordable to Virlanie Staff (only 50 PHP per service). This resulted in the most profitable service at the Expo.They were also noticed for showing great professionalism, explaining the benefit of their services to the clients while massaging them.
Because they proved everybody that children with special needs can provide great professional services and generate incomes for themselves, they were designated as the Likhaya Expo Champions.
Jade Home’s young adults will be therefore treated with a movie night/salo-salo/material wish during the month of October. Because their service was so popular and greatly fitted to the needs of Virlanie staff, they will also become Virlanie official spa and massage providers. This business concept will further be honed, and they will be invited to the office regularly, this time with technical support from Social Entrepreneurship Department.
Another competition was devised for young adults to test their creativity. Ten young adults (children with special needs included) were given a chance to join a Likhaya Bag designing contest. One canvas bag was given to each participant. They were asked to produce a unique handmade design that will best embody the values and spirit of Likhaya.
While all contestants showed great creativity to produce unique designs, Dancesca from Elizabeth Home is the one who stood out. She used water colors and drawing pen to create a very aesthetic value to the bag, But most importantly, she was able to choose the greatest message: Girl Power. Likhaya is about stories and Dancesca was able to portray her story of girl empowerment through her design. For this, she’s a much deserving winner!
She will not only be offered a Likhaya bag, art materials and an art workshop but also the great professional opportunity of becoming the official craft-designer of Likhaya bags for 3 months with compensation!
Likhaya: Virlanie’s Retail Brand
This event was also a venue for the soft launch of Virlanie’s Retail Brand, currently Craft a Smile, that undergone a product development rebranding to become Likhaya.
Likhaya was derived from Filipino words “LIKHA” which means “create”, the act of which our mothers and young adults create the products and the following words:
• SAYA – which translates to happiness in Tagalog; happiness is what we aim to make people feel when they purchase our products through our mothers’ and YA’s social craft
• KAYA – which translates to ability or able; purchasing our products gives our mothers and young adults the capabilities and opportunities for inclusive empowerment so they can grow, earn, and develop their families, selves, and communities
• LAYA – which translates to freedom; current mothers in our program mentor the next batch of mothers in crafting the products; the profit from the enterprise also funds the programs which not only train the mothers but support their children’s education as well, thus creates social sustainability in the community and their families
• PAMILYA – which translates to family; purchasing our products help us share the love of a family that the Foundation hopes to provide to the chidlren, families, and communities we support, as well as to our dearest supporters.
Through the Likhaya Expo, children, young adults and mothers showed that the spirit of Entrepreneurship lives on in each corner of Virlanie.