MANILA – JUNE 14, 2022 – As part of HD’s efforts to strengthen peace and development in the southern Philippines, five women artisans displayed their weaving and spoke about their journeys as entrepreneurs at a three-day exhibit in Manila.

The event in late May was an initiative within Accelerate Sulu: Women’s Entrepreneurship for Peace – a project creating potential for Sulu’s craftswomen and artisans by providing technical support and seed money tailored to their specific needs and circumstances.

“I just wanted to pursue my passion and promote cultural identity while at the same time help other women become productive and be acknowledged as important players in community development,” said Krisher Appay, who makes hand-embroidered habul tiyahian, a traditional tubular garment for the Tausug.

“Standing here as one of the proud Tausug women in this national exhibit is really empowering. I represent the other women entrepreneurs in their quest to have happy and healthy families and, most importantly, to have a peaceful community.”

The Accelerate Sulu project – supported by the Australian government – is a partnership between HD, The Asia Foundation and Tumikang Sama-Sama. It now supports 29 women entrepreneurs in Sulu.

Since 2004, HD has helped efforts to end conflict in the southern Philippines. HD’s initiatives include support for successful peace talks in 2014 and ratification of the law establishing the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, along with community dialogue sessions and training of mediators.