Recently Columbans and the Negros Nine Human Development Foundation (NNHDF) went into partnership with local and provincial governments to produce and develop Abaca Fiber products in order to give employment to people especially in remote areas.
Twenty women from around the Demo Farm of the NNHDF, all members of our Organic Cooperative, have undergone training in weaving the Abaca Fiber also known as Manila Hemp. At present they are the only active weavers in the whole of Negros Occidental.
The Philippines grows 85% of world hemp production, which is mostly exported for ropes. Our project will be value added as the raw material will be made into various products, both for local and export markets.
The Department of Labor will donate six new hand weaving looms and two sewing machines. A new building to accommodate the machines/weavers has been funded.
I would like to thank all of the Columban benefactors who have responded to the call of mission and support us in our works.
Fr. Brian Gore is the JPIC co-ordinator in Negros Occidentaly, Philippines.