This is the story of how we built nearly 70 fishing-boats to fishermen who lost their boats after the deadly typhoon Hayan hit the coast of the Philippines. I met a lady in Ubud (Indonesia) who told me about the Iloilo-province in the Western Visayas. It is known for it’s rich marine wildlife and numerous fishermen, but they lost 90% of their fishing-boats during the typhoon. We decided to team up to try to make these people self-sufficient again by building boats to the fishermen. I posted one FB-post about the initiative right before x-mas, and over 100 people bought their own boat. The price: It costed only between 100 and 350 USD to build one, and if you bought one you could name it whatever you wanted. As soon as your boat was built, you would receive a photo of it with your chosen name painted on the side of the boat. The perfect x-mas gift!
A big process started. Interviews were done with the fishermen to really understand their needs. Some needed bigger boats with a motor to get outside of the oil spill (which was another result of the horrible typhoon). Some needed just a repair. We used local carpenters, painters and engineers to build the boats and bring labor back to the people. We had to collaborate also with the Government so that the real needs of the fishermen were captured. We could not risk that another organisation would give boats to the same people and create a culture then again there could be a risk of overfishing.
Some amazing names were chosen and stories were connected from one side of the world to another. And now these fishermen can forever sustain themselves with food.