Meet the foundation’s latest Ambassadors: Mide Kearney and Adam O’Rahilly, Ireland. Here is part of the story they are sharing with family and friends as they spend time volunteering for the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation:
We arrived in Calitang in the black of night, so we had to wait till the next morning for our first glimpse of its beauty. What we did experience as soon as we arrived was the kindness and welcoming nature of the people here. We arrived on the beach to a host of tiny faces waiting with smiles of greeting and eager to help us with our bags. We were shown to our room, where we were greeted by a massive welcome banner and a delightful dinner!
The sounds that we heard on our first morning were the sounds of saws and the other tools used by the boat builders and even before breakfast we could see the work that the foundation was helping the community. Already, less than a week into the building project there were many boats already finished and awaiting the first layer of paint and there was an army of men working away on more of the yellow boats. We have had the chance over the short time we’ve been here to meet and talk to some of the beneficiaries of the yellow boats and its clear what a difference they make to peoples lives. The primary function of the yellow boats is of course to provide families with a steady source of income and food, and the importance of this in a village where there are more than 50 children officially classed as malnourished cannot be understated.
From what we have seen so far it seems the way in which the boats are provided helps the community in numerous ways, encouraging the men to work together as a team with a common goal. We are hearing more and more with every day what the foundation is doing. It is so much more than providing boats, with every boat the foundation also donates school supplies, encouraging the children of the village to attend and remain in school. We look forward to helping Janice (Janice Burlas, Co-Lead Implementor Daanbantayan Funds for Little Kids And Palawan Funds for Little Kids) with some of the new projects she is planning for the foundation including the refurbishment and restocking of the schools library.
The foundation has instigated a tree planting drive in line with this, the benefits of which will be seen for many generations to come. Perhaps even more important is the move to empower the local families with the means to obtain a lease agreement from the government in order that they may have security on their plots.
We are so happy to be in Calitang, both for its outstanding natural beauty and for the chance it has given us to experience the kindess, generosity and warmth of the locals here. We are excited to be involved with Janice and the Yellow Boat Foundation and we look forward to helping in any way that we can.