Livelihood and Childminding
LOOB started Educational Support Program that is composed of Financial Assistance and Weekend English Activity for benefit of children in Brgy. Calajunan in 2007. At early times we managed to clear some space inside the dumpsite in order to conduct the activities but the area was very limited and often bad weather affected the effectiveness of the activities.
In 2009, LOOB built the first UCLA Learning Center in coordination with Iloilo City Government through its General Services Office (GSO), after securing the financial assistance from Mr. Hisashi Iwakuma, a Japanese professional baseball player, and in the succeeding year the second phase of the Center was built through the support of a cosmetic company, LUSH JAPAN.
This construction was a joint project by LOOB Inc., German Technical Corporation (GTZ) and the landowner Pastor Padlan, and now transferred to and operated by UCLA. The opening ceremony of the center was officially held in November 2010 with attendance of the Mayor of Iloilo city.
The signboard of the center says, "The Center serves as a meeting place, a workplace for the various alternative livelihood being introduced to the waste pickers, a venue for the feeding program and weekly learning activities for their children, a place where our marginalized brothers and sisters, the former waste pickers, can call their own, A place to be finally at HOME."
Smokey Moutain Updates
Calajunan dumpsite is located in sixth (VI) district of Iloilo City and holds a total population of 4,402 (2014). It was in the year 1986 when the government decided to open a dumpsite on the agricultural area of Calajunan and since then served as the only waste disposal area in the city.
In 2004 the Department of Environment and Natural Resources VI (DENR) ordered the closure of the dumpsite in accordance to the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (RA 9003). Under this law all local government units should have converted their open dumpsite into sanitary landfills.
While looking for ways to expedite the conversion of Calajunan dumpsite into a sanitary landfill, the city government has installed a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) where non- biodegradable wastes are segregated. Biodegradable wastes are converted into compost while recyclable materials are sold to junk shops.
Also USWAG Calajunan Livelihood Association. (UCLA) Inc., was formed with more than 220 active members where city government implemented livelihood initiative to: such Sewing Project, Composting and Trading.
As the development of the dumpsite will affect adversely the residents who rely on waste picking for their daily income, multi-sector effort of empowering the UCLA and the residents of Brgy. Calajunan, Iloilo City prepare them for a self-sufficient life. LOOB plays very important role to provide nuderprivileged recyclers alternative livelihood to make their life more sustainable and make environment more livable...
Livelihood thru Fairtrade
In accordance with the rehabilitation and development of the Calajunan dumpsite into a sanitary landfill, a sewing group was organized under UCLA as one of the vocational trainings for the former waste pickers. Members of the UCLA, almost youths and women are now in the UCLA center and mainly produce useful and income-generating items such as bags and accessories by recovering and reusing the wastes.
The Bags are made from doypack, which are usually retrieved from cemeteries, schools and sometimes, Calajunan dumpsite. LOOB also encourage the students of several schools to collect the doypacks. Collected items pass through the quality control, cleaned and sewn into bags, folders, pencil cases and wallets. The end results are fashionable items that every Ilonggo fashionista is proud to carry.
ULCA become more creatives. Now they make items from discarded magazines pages. Papers are cut into thin and long strips, rolled into balls and fashioned into jewelry like necklaces and bracelets. These bags and jewelry are bought as souvenirs during the convention held in Iloilo city, and also sold in Japan.
The UCLA Learning Center that we built also became a home for our weekend volunteer activities, Child Minding after school and also utilized by several groups and organizations as a venue for their activities.