Jocelyn Pacrin and Marlene Costa live more than 12,000 miles from each other in very different communities and have never met each other, yet they have quite a bit in common. Both women are hardworking artisans who make beautiful items from recycled drinks packaging, and both are loving mothers who dream of a better life for their children and future generations.
Jocelyn Pacrin is an artisan and single mother of four living in a squatter’s area of Manila in the Philippines. While she struggles financially to raise her children on her own, she’s optimistic about her future after separating from an abusive and drug-addicted husband. She now rents a tiny room for her large family and dreams daily of providing a formal education and a promising future for her children. And she’s making her dreams come true.
Jocelyn received artisan training from the Philippine Community Fund. The Philippine Community Fund is a partner of 5by20, The
Making these beautiful items with her hands helps her harness her creativity into income for her family and her community.
“I’m inspired to work hard to provide for their needs,” Jocelyn says.
Working with a close-knit group of women artisans has also given Jocelyn a ready-made support group as she enters this new chapter of her life. The women work as a team, helping each other and providing inspiration when times are tough.
Jocelyn’s advice to women everywhere rings true in the positive and hard-working way she lives her own life: “Be strong, never stop believing in yourself, and follow your dreams.”
Meet Jocelyn and experience her story by watching this video.
With helpful design support and craft training, the group of passionate and creative artisans she leads is inspiring and enriching their village. In addition to improving the natural environment with waste recycling, their unique, contemporary pieces are sold all over the world.
“Initially we struggled,” says Marlene, who started the artisan work in 1992 in hopes of increasing her family income. “We depended on tourists visiting us. There were months when nobody came.”
The artisan group Marlene leads had the opportunity to develop their business and receive additional training through 5by20. The artisans were partnered with an established designer to learn new designs, more efficient techniques and marketing skills.
Though the introduction of more recyclable materials into the line of products, the group is now flourishing, making unique, contemporary pieces to be sold all over the world. The village has also benefitted from the artisan group’s success.
As Marlene continues to inspire and enrich the lives her family, teammates and the people of her village, she is inspired by them as well.
“When I see the group growing, I feel very proud and happy to be coordinating a beautiful group like this one,” she said.
Meet Marlene and experience her story by watching this video.