I recently persuaded my fellow Rotarians to buy two fishing boats for two villages in the Philippines and have been very impressed with the level of management being shown by the local Philippines Rotary Clubs.
There was trepidation about investing in Far off lands and the question of local corruption comes up and reduces potential commitment & engagement that would otherwise naturally happen. So let’s punch that elephant on the noise…
Bill & Melinda Gates recognised this reality in their annual Gates Foundation letter stating “four of the past seven governors of Illinois have gone to prison for corruption, and to my knowledge no one has demanded that Illinois schools be shut down or its highways closed.”
Our own government gives the European Union over £10 billion a year and it is yet to produce a set of accounts while at the same time forcing millions of small businesses to be completely transparent!
Personally I prefer to believe most ordinary people are honest and only have the best intent… through their actions I then choose to keep sharing my own energy with them or put it to better use elsewhere.
Researching the impact Typhoon Haiyan aka Yolanda, in early January I visited the LinkedIn Rotary Club Group and on an existing discussion, I’d previously visited within days of the typhoon, asked what was needed NOW.
Rotarians responded and this, followed by some questions & answers with Jesse Tanchanco & Allan Limas, led to Windsor & Eton Rotary Club making a generous donation of £500 to each of their respective Rotary Clubs in the Philippines.
Within 24 hours I had the following report in from Allan and Jesse’s sure to follow shortly…
– Hazel has already pre-ordered a native fishing boat from a reputable manufacturer. This is still in production and upon delivery we shall install the necessary signage on both sides to acknowledge your club as donor.
– We shall coordinate this with FIDEC, a non government organization with contacts on the typhoon affected areas to help us identify a possible beneficiary FA. The target community is San Remigio, North Cebu with a coastline of over 40 kilometers severely damaged by the typhoon.
– Once finalized we will inspect and talk with this people and make a memorandum of understanding, a copy of his contract which will be forwarded as well to your club
– We will then ask the community children to suggest a name for the boat, use your funds to pay the boat maker and schedule a formal delivery and turn-over to the community. Any left-over funds will be used for related fishing materials and equipment.
– I would like to suggest the project title: ONE Boat – a boat donation livelihood program to support recovery of severely affected fishing communities from Typhoon Haiyan
This is in the hope that one Rotary club can sponsor a boat, one community or an organization or a company even an individual, all it takes is to start with just one.
Allan’s “ONE BOAT” inspired me on… the people of the Philippines lost over 100,000 boats and if every Rotary Club in the UK bought a boat for a village that would be nearly 2,000 boats, a significant contribution. We’ve started with two, now for a few more…
Talking to Fred King, Assistant District Governor, completing the relevant paperwork and raising £6000 from local rotary clubs and we could turn our current 2 boats into 50+ !
Fred will guide me, or my able assistant, through the admin … all we need to get this party started is one more local rotary club to join in… and then one more to a total of 10, each donating £500 each for the purchase of a single boat which through the magic of Rotary will multiply into 4 or maybe 5.
District double our efforts & Rotary Foundation add significant funds to bring up the total.
I will advise of how we are progressing and what we need to do to make it all work as we go…
If you would like to be part of this, the ONE BOAT project then please complete the form below to show your intent… we’ll not be looking for money until we have all the paperwork in place and obviously I am happy to give a presentation on the project to your club should you so wish.
Windsor & Eton Rotary Club