Ten years ago, a group of young individuals gathered together and created a youth organization called Dire Husi Initiatives, Inc. which means here friend.
That organization empowers out of school youths and marginalized youths through creative enterprise to develop artistic skills for sustainability and build self-esteem among the young artisans to keep them out of destructive vices and bring them back to the community.
The organization won several awards and recognitions including the I Am A Changemaker award of the British Council and was among the country’s Ten Accomplished Youth Organization in 2018 and 2012.
Projects of the organization were being recognized and featured by media entities such as Rappler, The Inquirer, ABS CBN, GMA and TV5. The members of the Dire Husi have honed their talents and now are leaders in their own movements and organizations, three of the members have created a handicraft company called Indigenous Is Hip.
Indigenous Is Hip creates handcrafted trophies and plaques which fits to any events.
Their clients include Rotary Club of West Cagayan de Oro which was commissioned by Rotary West Past President Erna Maagad, Oro Kalimpyo Awards 2017 (The search for Outstanding Barangay Ecological Solid Waste Management) by CLENRO, KUYAMIS Festival 2017, the recently concluded 13th ATOP- DOT Pearl awards and more.
The materials of these plaques are a mix of upcycled materials and polymer clay which adds unique aesthetics in the product. Indigenous is Hip also creates handcrafted fashion accessories and giveaways, which due to its individually created method, each product becomes unique.
Mr. David Yañez the production head and COO of Indigenous Is Hip has been an experienced craftsman for more than 10 years and have been to many arts and crafts fair across the country. David is in charge of designing and quality control of the products of Indigenous is Hip and is continually researching on coming up with a design that can become an icon in Northern Mindanao which can bring pride to the whole country.
The company is a practicing Fair Trade advocate which means that products coming out of the group don’t hurt animals or can cause harm to the environment, doesn’t exploit children, provide proper welfare among its workers, provide gender equality among its workers and more.
The group started as a marginalized sector, now it aims to provide feeding program and skills training to disadvantage groups as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
Mr. Edgar Cacho Jr. one founders of the group states that “it is important to be a blessing to others if you are blessed. We are after a channel of blessing.”
Indigenous Is Hip recognizes the beautiful products of our local entrepreneurs and we can compete worldwide. Catch them at www.facebook.com/indieiship.
(The author is a member of Rotary Club of West Cagayan de Oro and Chairman of Dire Husi Initiatives, Inc. winner of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organization. For suggestions email at firstname.lastname@example.org)