Meet Shirley M.


  •  Even as an experienced sewer, she could not find work.

Shirley is in her fifties, and has many years of experience working as a sewer in Manila. However, their family experienced financial difficulty when she did not receive many sewing orders, forcing them to move to Payatas ten years ago. Her husband was a jeepney driver (like transit bus driver) but it did not provide enough money to meet their family’s needs. Shirley could not work outside of the home because she had no one to care for her children.

  • How she got started in this livelihood project:

Today, Shirley receives additional income because of the livelihood project through her local church. According to her, it has helped them a lot. She is now able to provide an income while working from home and taking care of her children.

  • June 2010 update:

Shirley was grateful for the work order that came from Work of Your Hand in May 2010.  Because of it, she was able to support her son when he was unemployed as well as purchase school supplies for the upcoming school year.  Since then her son has found a job.

  • March 2011 update:

We visited Shirley in March 2011. She was doing well and like Adelaida was able to purchase a washing machine.  She had it encaged in metal and attached to the house.  She was so proud of it.  While we were there we learned that she used to sew for Adidas.  No wonder she was so good at sewing sports bags!

  • August 2012 Update:

We met with Shirley again and she was so excited to see us. Her husband (a jeepney driver) was also happy and drove us to visit her sister Azon (see She continues to sew for us, and this time we asked her to make many messenger bags. Keep a look out for them!

  • May 2013 Update:

The last time we visited Shirley, she lived in a very small and crowded home. When we visited Shirley in May, we were pleasantly surprised to see that she had a large, brand new home built for her and her family! Her son also recently graduated from college, found a good job, and is now able to financially support the family as well. Congratulations to Shirley and her family!