The Learning Boats partnership helped more poor communities in municipalities and areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) rebuild by providing boats to fishermen and education to the children.
Evelin Weber is the founder of The Philippines Foundation and a Patron of A World At School, a UK-based charity that advocates for universal education, founded by Sarah Brown, wife of former UK Prime Minster, Gordon Brown. Ms. Weber says, “The idea of the Learning Boats program in Leyte grew from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013 and the enormous impact the aftermath had on the livelihoods of the affected people. One school day during a project visit, kids were playing by the boats in the morning as fishermen docked, it was then that I realized I had a captive audience.
With 18,904 boats destroyed and 90% of the schools damaged, Weber also added, “As children and education have always been the focus of our Foundation, we felt the need to not only restore the lost boats of the fishermen of Leyte, but to turn the entire project into a learning experiment. We know that access to schools and classrooms can be a burden on those in rural areas, so we wanted to eliminate this barrier by bringing the classrooms to these out-of-school children.
With that, Learning Boats emerged.”
The Philippines Foundation is looking to fulfill its 1,000 boats promise through the help of The Philippine Airlines and the global community. To volunteer, please contact Evelin@thePhilippinesFoundation.org or donate to https://www.crowdrise.com/learning-boats
The Philippines Foundation is a foundation based in the U.S. that serves to educate and empower underprivileged women and children in the Philippines. It has three other members currently assisting in the various programs. Michael Novas, a college student currently working on his degree in Finance and Supply Chain Management; Alex Graniere, Business Developer, is a former CPA-certified accountant that spent the previous year abroad in Asia working directly with NGO and non-profit organizations; and Edison Sampang, our country manager, is a former prosecutor from New Zealand. Sampang is half Filipino and like Weber, he is committed to making a lasting impact in a country he calls home.
Currently, the Philippines Foundation is working on a project with a major TV station in the Philippines to create a children’s television show based on the lessons they provide through the Learning Boats. The TV program will have a similar feel to Sesame Street and will further its impact by bringing the classroom to children.
The Philippines Foundation is also constantly partnering with other non-profit organizations with interests in the Philippines. They are currently working with Kaya Co, an organization that aims to help Filipinos abroad by bringing them to Leyte and immersing them in Filipino culture with the hopes that they identify with being Filipino and help further their cause. The said foundation have also partnered with ThinKids, a Spanish-based charity, to provide a two-week Innovation and confidence building program for women and their children.
The beautiful Filipina said that; “We’re also working on a financial literacy program for women and mothers of our kids to help empower and educate them as well.” Finally, she concluded, “Economic Development is a complex system. We take a holistic approach — in the best way we know how — by providing access and in simple terms, an Adopt a Village mentality.” Visit the Philippines Foundation website (www.thePhilippinesFoundation.org) to inquire about volunteering or donate to help rebuild more lives in Leyte.
All of this was done with the help of the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines and Ogilvy, one of the largest marketing communications networks in the world.