Abraham (Abs) Mawadi. Uncle Abs Mawadi has built over 50 yellow boats for various yellow boat communities in the Philippines. Jay Jaboneta, co-founder of the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, says, “I admire Abs Mawadi for his dedication to helping his community members and his courage to work with all stakeholders. He is a gem among Yellow Boat volunteers and I consider him one of my personal heroes.”
Since 2010 Uncle Abs has built and overseen the building of many Yellow Boats with rarely a pause to rest. But at one point he lost all his power tools during the Zamboanga siege. This may have slowed Uncle Abs down, but it didn’t stop him. And help was on the way.
The foundation’s very first servant-leader and boat builder of our very first yellow boat at Layag Layag finally got his groove back! Thanks to the generosity of Bosch Philippines and our partner Rotary Club Of Zamboanga City, Ronald Rellosa and Eric Harina. Now he can augment his livelihood by building boats for others, and he started with 3 boats for our Sta. Cruz yellow boat community.
Here is one person who turned his back on violence. He and his family purposely decided to turn their backs on an easy life in their former hometown where they couldn’t sleep well at night because residents didn’t feel safe. It was a place of turbulent politics.
They left all that to have peace of mind and to give their children a more “normal” lives wherein they live in peace and harmony. Their children can get an education. Even if it means toiling day and night to make ends meet. He is a true servant leader. Once he came to talk with me when someone was jealous of his position in the Yellow Boat community at Layag Layag as it was our point of contact. He said “I don’t know what they are jealous of? I’m a servant not a leader, I do what I’m asked and don’t complain because I know it is best for our community.”
Every time we give out something he always put himself and his family last saying “I can explain to my family but not to the people who look up to me,” says Abs. “I realize I have to sacrifice In order for things to move.” He is right. Without Abs there will be no Yellow Boat of Hope. He set the bar of servant leadership so high that other community leaders have to step up to measure up.
Heartfelt thanks to Uncle Abs Mawadi and his family for their participation in serving the needs of kids who swim to school!