Heathdale flower 15th October 2020

Student Strikes Payatas Pencil Case Deal

Next year, many of your will be helping the people of Payatas just by purchasing your booklist pencil case.

Heathdale flower

Our College community has always been incredibly supportive of our student and staff fundraising initiatives. Recently, so many of you Stood Up for Little Lives by sponsoring a student and donating funds that went directly to Rehoboth Children’s Home in the Philippines. Another Filipino community our students have a real heart for is the people of Payatas. You may have come across their handmade flowers our students sold at the musical last year.

The community used to work on the Payatas Dumpsite, until the government closed the site in 2017, leaving them without their source of food and income, which although small — approximately $6 a day — was crucial for their families. Since then, they have sought training to learn how to make different products like those flowers, and now pencil cases.

College Vice Captain, Alex Richardson, has been at the forefront of recent student fundraising efforts and is heavily involved in creating sales opportunities for the Payatas goods as part of a team helping run Payatas Products. Recently, Alex and Payatas Products were able to negotiate a deal with Heathdale’s booklist supplier, Campion, to make the pencil cases a compulsory item on booklists for Werribee Prep to 6 and Melton Prep to 8.

That comes to a total of 1,250 pencil cases. As part of the deal, Campion are not going to charge their standard packing fees for these products, which is a great outcome and allows the funds raised to go directly to the Payatas workers and their families.

“In terms of impact to the Payatas Community, there are now six people working full time who were previously unemployed,” explained Alex. “As well as giving them work we have also been able to consult with the people at Payatas and our other contacts in the Philippines to create the budget for this project. That way we are working with the costs of things like labour and materials that the workers give us, rather than us setting the terms in Australia. This gives them more freedom as to how they work.”

The relationship with Campion is one the team hope to maintain over the long term. “In the future, we are hopeful that we will be able to expand this project even further into more schools and other areas as well,” said Alex. “We've already got permission to sell our products in the foyer of the next musical.”