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Meet Jailyn Danguen: The Indigenous Eco-Warrior Fighting Plastic Pollution in Her Community

A Women's Month Feature

Meet Jailyn Danguen, a 22-year-old Eco-Warrior from the Tagbanua Indigenous Tribe, who has devoted her life to combating plastic pollution in her community. She is a mother, a wife, and a waste picker, juggling multiple responsibilities to provide a better life for her family.

Jailyn begins her day with a family prayer, followed by cooking meals for her loved ones. Her husband then heads off to work as a construction worker, and Jailyn joins other waste pickers to collect plastic for 2-3 hours a day. Afterward, she returns home to cook lunch and tidy up the house. Her life is challenging as she strives to provide a good life for her daughter while living in poverty. She wants her daughter to have good values and to serve as an example to others.

Jailyn first noticed the issue of plastic pollution in her community after marrying in 2014. Her husband and his family had already been collecting plastics, and she observed a growing garbage problem throughout their neighborhood. When she went into town, she saw cats and dogs scattering garbage on the streets, making the problem even worse. Jailyn chose to become a garbage collector and help her husband support their family. Despite the unpleasant and foul-smelling work, she grew accustomed to it and is now proud to play her part in keeping the environment clean.

Since her childhood, Jailyn has witnessed a significant change in her community's environment. She grew up in a laid-back town where people were friendly with one another, but now she lives in a city where people are frequently shouting and appear to be irritable almost every day. Nonetheless, being an Eco-Warrior has taught her to be a good neighbor, patient, and humble.

Plastic has been the primary waste in Jailyn's community for a long time, even before she moved there in 2014. However, she views it as an opportunity to earn more money to support her family. Jailyn hopes that through her work as an Eco-Warrior, she can create a better future for her child. She aims to earn more to provide for her daughter's schooling and not solely depend on her husband's income as a construction worker.

Jailyn's journey as a waste collector and Eco-Warrior began when her husband introduced her to the job. Despite being unfamiliar with digging up waste, she began collecting plastics and eventually became an Eco-Warrior. She is now proud to be part of the Eco Kolek program, which has helped her earn more and be more productive as a wife and mother.

Jailyn Danguen's story is a testament to the resilience and determination of individuals in impoverished communities who are fighting against plastic pollution. Her work as an Eco-Warrior not only helps keep the environment clean but also provides a better life for her family. She hopes that her work will encourage others to join her in the fight against plastic pollution and create a brighter future for their children.

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