In a bid to equip children with water-resistant emergency bags as well basic school supplies, Save the Children Europe has teamed up with the De La Salle Philippines, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Manila, and the mothers of Marawi to produce go bags.
The project aims to create 2,300 malong-inspired go bags for the schoolchildren of Marawi. Save the Children Europe funded the program coined as the Go-Bag Project.
Each go bag contains medical first aid kit, whistle, water tumbler, notebook, ballpen, crayon, and zip-lock for legal-sized documents.
With the help of Duyog Marawi, a youth-led and church-based organization, the team from Benilde Fashion Design and Merchandising Program handpicked 15 participating housewives based on their sewing skills, and employed them to help in a particular stage of production process.
The fashion experts studied and provided the appropriate specifications of the fabrics, accessories, and measurements, as well as comprehensive training courseware for the step-by-step process of bag-making which were coursed through printable learning materials and online sessions conducted at La Salle Academy Iligan.
For the design, Benilde Industrial Design Program seamlessly combined the go bag samples provided by Save the Children Europe with the traditional Marawi design elements.
The final design aims to highlight the beauty of malong, a geometric- or okir-printed traditional Filipino rectangular or tube-like wraparound garment worn by both men and women of numerous ethnic groups in the mainland Mindanao.
“This will be used by the Marawi kids and we want the virtue of this project to be embraced not just for their need of the bag, but that it has a feeling of belongingness seeing that their visual culture is adapted through the malong form, patterns, and color,” noted Benilde Industrial Design Program chairperson Romeo Catap, Jr.