Sikap Buhay (SIKHAY)


short for the Filipino phrase "Sikap Buhay,"

meaning "self-empowerment"

Sikhay’s objectives of self empowerment:

•  As therapy for the women

•  Training ground for entrepreneurial development and management

•  Vehicle for advocacy for the continuing plight of migrant women

Sikhay’s Story

Established March 2, 1996, Sikhay commenced as a sewing project, implemented under DAWN’s Alternative Livelihood Program.

In a small room in the DAWN office, with only two borrowed sewing machines, along with several batik cloths, and edging and button-holing performed in a market nearby, Sikhay was born.

Today, Sikhay boasts of high-speed sewing machines, edging machine, button-holers, cutter, weaving machines and its own production room.

Trainings are conducted at DAWN’s Sikhay Sewing and Hand-loom Weaving Facility.

DAWN-Sikhay’s Trainings are also availed at various training locations including:

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)

The Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

Sikhay members acquire the skills needed to produce quality products,

and in producing materials using these skills, they become efficient and responsible in handling tasks relevant to the program.

Sikhay products are marketed and merchandised in various local bazaars.

The Japan market for these types of products, through the assistance of DAWN-Japan and DAWN’s networks from Japan, has welcomed Sikhay Products.

DAWN and Sikhay products have generated enough goodwill in Japan for individuals and shops to offer marketing Sikhay Products.

Our Networks in Japan include:

Global World NARUNIA - Niigata

Peace Boat -Tokyo

Jichiro - Tokyo

Yoriko Nakahira (Children’s Culture and Studies) - Saitama

Empowerment for All (EFA)-Tokyo

Yumeuta - Saitama


Kansai University-Yoshida Seminar - Osaka

Quality Sikhay products are lovingly created by Sikhay members who are passionate about their self empowerment

High quality handwoven items



table runners

placemats & coasters



pen folders

laptop sleeves

Sikhay Online Shop

Results are increasingly evident of DAWN’s work together with Sikhay and as demand for our services increases, DAWN continues assisting women members in setting up small-scale livelihood projects that they may self-manage.

Revealing an increase in self-confidence, self-reliance and independence, which facilitates reintegration into society, DAWN’s trained women may opt to establish their own small businesses or apply their skills outside of the Sikhay program.