Looks to me like a group of school children could use a footbridge to help them attend school every day, even in the rainy season. This is another project by the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation. This video explains it: Wikipedia says this: "Sarangani is a province of the Philippines located in the SOCCSKSARGEN region. Its capital is Alabel. With a 230 kilometres (140 mi) coastline along the Sarangani Bay and Celebes Sea, the province is at the southernmost tip of Mindanao Island, and borders South Cotabato and Davao del Sur to the north, and Davao Occidental to the east." Here are some statistics from the Dept. of Education:
July 2014. Feeling very honored this week. The Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation (YBH) honored Josiah Go, Rick Passo, and me by naming yellow boats after us . . . boats designed to help the remarkable community of Great Santa Cruz Island, Zamboanga City, Philippines. This particular project on Sta Cruz is a sustainable ecotourism project that aims to provide alternative livelihood to fishermen. By giving livelihood, YBH hopes they will protect their environment as well as improve their income so that their kids can continue going to school. Here’s what the foundation said (and posted on Facebook), “Our first three Yellow Boat Adventures boats for Sta. Cruz Yellow Boat. community is named in honor of 3 special people who helped YBH at very crucial points and until now are still very active HOPE PADDLERS! The board of YBHF unanimously approved to give them the honor. Our chief rainmaker Josiah Go, our chief connector Rick Passo and our Chief inspiration Judy Simpson Vorfeld! Thank you!” To be so honored is humbling and exciting. This is a foundation whose volunteers work special kinds of magic on any given day, in order to help Filipino kids get their education and be challenged by what the future holds. I love volunteering for YBH, even though we are separated physically. One of many blessings given us is technology, so we can not only have worthy goals, but often the means to fulfill them. Social media, particularly Facebook, has been an unsurpassed tool for communication within and outside of the Philippines. It is bringing together many people who love to give with others who love to give, and the results are not just amazing, but sometimes wildly creative. People are finding methods for helping the disadvantaged in ways that encourage education, sustainability, and self-respect. A shot of the turnover of the boats to the community followed by a shot of much of the community and YBH Volunteers. And another project underway that has enormous potential, The Yellow Dorm of Hope. It is under construction. Here are some links so you can see what the dorm is all about. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.495963543824683.1073741869.158289907592050&type=1 https://www.facebook.com/YellowBoat/photos/a.495963543824683.1073741869.158289907592050/495963853824652/?type=1 https://www.facebook.com/YellowBoat/photos/a.495963543824683.1073741869.158289907592050/495964130491291/?type=1
"Going to school meant skipping a meal and walking 10 km a day," says Josh Mahinay. "Walking had become an inevitable choice because the habal-habal (tricycle) fare can be saved for food. I have a very vivid memory of the times I had to ask for a free plastic bag from a nearby sari-sari (retail) store to put my things in. I had been a regular face in the store because the plastic bag ripped almost every day....Walking down the beaten path, confined to mountains all around, I saw limitations everywhere. For a child who does not ask for much, I treasured one question – 'What’s behind those mountains?'" Josh left the Philippines in 2007: he had to step up to provide for his family. He worked in the U.S. for five years, accomplished his task, and returned to his country. At age 26, he founded a social entrepreneurship venture, BAG943. The Bag of Dreams project. Buy One Give One. His riveting story published by Rappler.com shows how education was a primary vehicle for his being able to start this venture. Today, with every bag purchase, another bag is given to an impoverished child from a pool of adopted public schools throughout the Philippines. "What I am doing right now," he says, "is a product of what people did for me. "I was in 4th grade when I received my very first decent bag, a gift from a distant relative....Receiving that bag made me realize that while I was in the midst of an almost forgotten village, someone was actually thinking about me. It made me feel like someone made an investment in me so it empowered me to do better in school. "Because someone believed in me, I started believing in myself. Having a school bag like my classmates gave me the confidence to dream the kind of dreams that they have, or maybe bigger." I encourage you to read the entire article and be challenged to seek out ways to help in your community, or the larger, global community. Education matters. As he envisioned this project, Josh was afraid, but fear activated faith as he started a business to champion education for the poor. BAG. Be A Giver. You can also find Josh on Facebook. Thanks to Rick Passo, Las Vegas, and Dr. Anton Lim, Zamboanga City, for bringing this Rappler.com article to my attention.
By Sara Collins
Social media offers an amazing platform to engage with your customers and really get to know who they are and what they need from your brand. Whether you’re just getting started with your strategy or looking to refine your current one, it’s important to use your social platforms to find effective ways to connect with your customers.Try these five tips to connect with your audience and turn them into loyal followers: • Add Value: You won’t build a lasting follower base by clogging their feeds with product promotions. Of course it’s alright, and even encouraged, to post content about your sales, promotions, new products, events, etc., but don’t make that your only social content. Show your customers that you’re interested in them by starting conversations. For example, on Mondays, ask how their weekends were. Also, find relevant news stories, pictures, and even promotions from other (non-competitors) businesses that might interest them. If your social accounts add value to your customers’ lives, they’ll keep reading what you have to say. • Provide Customer Service: Social media marks the beginning of an era when people don’t want to call your customer service line or email you with problems, : they want them resolved instantly. Do your best to meet this need by offering customer service on your social media sites. Assign an employee to keep a constant eye on your social sites, so they will be able to see and respond to customer posts quickly. People are constantly connected with social media sites, so they expect a quick reply. Waiting an entire day, or even a few hours, to address an issue could make a customer believe you’re not interested and don’t appreciate their business. • Poll Them: Use your social sites for market research. Find out what types of products your customers would like to see from your company in the future. When you come up with a new product idea, post it on social media and allow your customers to give feedback. This can be very helpful, as it’s a quick and easy way to gauge customer interest in new products. It also shows loyal customers how much you value their opinion and want to please them. People love it when their favorite brands make them feel included. • Offer Incentives: Show appreciation to your loyal followers by providing giveaways, coupons, and exclusive invites to events at your business. For example, if you run a restaurant, choose a Twitter follower at random each week to win a coupon for a free appetizer. Or if you own a boutique, extend invitations to your Facebook followers each season to an event showcasing your new arrivals. This makes your followers feel like they’re part of something special and shows them how much you appreciate their support. • Listen: Take the time to learn about your customers by checking out their social media profiles, reading content they post, and seeing what other businesses they’re following. You can really learn a lot about your customer base this way. For example, if you’re a personal trainer and you see a lot of your clients posting things about their upcoming weddings, creating a bridal boot camp might be a good business venture. Or if you run a bakery and notice the majority of your clientele posting comments about your local football team, it might be a lucrative idea to make baked goods with the team logo on them for next week’s game. Social media sites are an invaluable tool for brands to get to know their customers on a deeper level. Create a social media strategy that engages your audience and shows them that you’re interested in what they have to say. Sara Collins is a writer for NerdWallet, a site dedicated to helping users find the best online brokers.