In my blog post in The Little Fund, I invited every Pinoy to start their own little funds that will help people from any part of the Philippines. It only takes some imagination to help out our poor brothers and sisters who are struggling to provide themselves a better life.
Last October 30, 2010, I was privileged to be in Zamboanga City to address 100 bloggers from all across Mindanao about the role of New Media in Nation-Building. Along the sidelines of the summit, I heard the story of the little kids in Layag-Layag, Brgy. Talon-Talon, Zamboanga City, who swim just to be able to go to school – the story really touched me and upon returning to Manila the next day, I updated my Facebook status by telling the story of those brave little kids.
A good friend, Marketing guru, Josiah Go, picked up on the story and started a mini-fundraising campaign right there and then. And so the story of the Zamboanga Funds for Little Kids began. With a little as over 7 days, our online campaign, raised almost P70,000 ($1,618). While we were raising the funds, I contacted a local supporter of the President, Tzu Chi Foundation volunteer Anton Lim, so that we can already assess what we could do with the money we raised for the kids. We eventually decided on building them a boat.
It took five (5) months to complete the project from finding the boat-maker to buying the materials to the actual building of the boat and to the eventual turn-over to the community in Layag-Layag.
I was there during the boat turn-over last March 27, 2011 where I was surprised to see over 200 kids enrolled in various levels in the Talon-Talon Elementary School in Zamboanga City.
When in Manila the next day, Josiah Go, helped me realize that our project achieved more than just building those kids a boat – because of the project, Christians and Buddhists came together to build Muslim elementary students a boat. It is a symbol of unity for our nation. It is a symbol of the new hope we are seeing under this new administration – a brotherhood (or sisterhood) without borders (solutions to problems bridged through a Facebook status update). I hope it inspires you to help your community in your own little way too. (Story by Jay Jaboneta; Thanks to all the donors of the Zamboanga Funds for Little Kids project.)
Christians and Buddhists raised funds and built Muslim kids a boat