In Naga City District Jail, there are over 700 people who are incarcerated. 40 of which are women who are mostly mothers. Karaw Craftventures wants to address the lack of opportunities and reformation activities for the woman inmates of Naga City Jail and to break the social wall that is created between them and their family throughout their incarceration. It also wants to correct the current implementation of livelihood projects inside the jail. There exists a social injustice in the way middlemen deal with the community of inmate handicraft producers. They are paid with very small amount because middlemen purchase the goods at a very low price and sell them to big stores for a higher price. Middlemen take advantage of the situation that results to what can be considered as exploitation of workers.
The Ragpet Project is the flagship brand of Karaw Craftventures that helps in the rehabilitation of women inmates in Naga City District Jail by providing sustainable livelihood activities and introducing in-prison skills development program for poverty and crime reduction. Prisoners are trained to become artisans who create unique merchandises named as “Ragpets” made from scrap fabrics. We also manufacture other novelty gift items such as finger puppet book sets, shirts, bags, keychains, organizers, and trophies. We also customize personal gifts and corporate giveaways and conduct arts and crafts workshops.
The cute and charming designs known as RAGPETS are beautiful examples of what upcycling can do. The Ragpet Project is an advocate of recycling and sustainability. The materials used for the products’ unique features are rags, combined with creativity, ingenuity, and childish fun. Adorned with old buttons and other scrap items, worn-out fabrics are given new life as they are skillfully sewn to become new and unique creations. Thus, Ragpets are not only considered as keepsake items but as pet buddies that are filled with love and ready to share this love to the ones who will adopt them. Each Ragpet has a story to tell as each of them is given a unique name and profile in which one could relate to! So what are you waiting for? Indulge in childish fun and help these Ragpets find their new haven – your place could be the perfect one!
Being part of the team, the inmate-artisans are compensated for the products that they produce. Aside from that, the social enterprise adopts a saving scheme policy for them so that, in every earning that they have, they will be able to save some amount that they can use whenever they get out of the prison. With the money that they earn, they will be able to augment the support needed by their family, especially their children. With the opportunity that the social enterprise provides to them, we are able to empower them and give high regard to their existence and what they can contribute to their family and society.
Through The Ragpet Project, Karaw Craftventures provides unique, upcycled novelty gifts and eco-ethical products, with the brand positioned as artisanal, sustainable and contemporary. Thus, reducing waste materials in the environment and promoting locally made products. We develop livelihood programs that empower the society’s underserved groups such as the women inmates while spurring economic mobility in their communities by providing skills trainings, market access to their products, guidance in financial savings, and formation and capacity building activities. We strongly believe that, as a social enterprise, we can contribute to social progress by empowering our stakeholders to collaborate and to improve their outlooks in life by providing them opportunities for self-growth.
Karaw Craftventures aims to become a powerful source of hope for the marginalized communities in the Philippines using art and community development as tools for empowerment. These aspects that Karaw Craftventures continues to work on form its unique selling proposition that is way beyond its competitors in the industry. Different programs are also being developed to consider the woman inmates and other communities of artisans as real business partners. Microfinance scheme is also being introduced to the stakeholders by lending them with raw materials instead of money and the payment will be finished products.
THE RAGPET PROJECT is guided by the following core values:
R - Rediscover creativity and imaginative play
Through our advocacy of promoting creativity, both our artisans and people who patronize our products rediscover their inclinations towards playfulness and childish fun.
A - Appreciate Filipino culture and arts
We promote the growth of local artisans and increase cultural awareness by incorporating culturally relevant themes and stories in our products.
G - Give and show love to others through gifts
Ragpets are not only keepsake items but are also pet buddies that are filled with love. These Ragpets are ready to share their love to the ones who will adopt them.
P - Provide sustainable livelihood
We uplift the lives of our artisan stakeholders by giving them livelihood activities that promote fair trade.
E - Empower society’s underserved sectors
We believe that social progress can be achieved by empowering our stakeholders and improving their outlooks in life by providing opportunities for growth.
T - Transform scraps into artisanal products
We significantly contribute to conserving the environment by upcycling scrap materials and turn them into timeless pieces of useful crafts.