Well, we had some connections here in New Zealand. Our friend Sarah Gaitanos has a brother who is a local entrepreneur. And we made many Filipino friends during our four years as lecturers for P&O Australia.
Sarah organized a fund-raising campaign, and a good sum of money was sent over to help communities of fishermen and their wives. The money was spent on construction materials, a generator, clothes, food, and canoes ....
Money so well spent -- see the happy faces. Many of the canoes were equipped with motors, as well as fishing and boating gear.
Perhaps most rewarding of all was funding for the crafts that their women create and sell, while their husbands, sons, and fathers are out harvesting the sea. "Out of everything we have done," said the local organizer, "Bantayan Crafts is the most meaningful – we have given 35 women the chance to help themselves through enterprise. They are all married mums who can’t depend upon their hubbies for a steady income."
Please follow Bantayan Crafts’ progress through its facebook page bantayancrafts