Can you imagine your young child swimming to school? It’s mind boggling, right? Yet until Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation came along, children living in a number of remote Philippine villages relied on the power of their arms and legs to carry them away from their homes and into their waterside classrooms. As shocked as you are reading this now, equally so back in 2010, was a young Filipino by the name of Jay Jaboneta. Armed with a natural inclination toward good citizenship, and a penchant for social networking, Jaboneta was poised to take action.
After learning about this unconventional school transportation, Jaboneta began posting on Facebook. His vocalization on social media led to Zamboanga Funds for Little Kids in 2010. In the four years since founding the Yellow Boat Project, the organization has provided 511 “school boats”—300 of those for Typhoon Haiyan families. Along the way, he’s culled a dedicated team of volunteers (and an impressive number of donors), and laid the foundation for building schools and classrooms (and distributing school supplies); delivering medical and dental care; creating scholarship and livelihood programs; and currently, the construction of dormitories and bridges.
My first introduction to this accidental philanthropist came during Social Good Summit 2013 (aka #2030NOW), where he shared his story of how social media—and the power of one—can shake up the world. (Leave a comment and I’ll dig up the event’s live streaming link.) I encourage you to read this in-depth Q+A, and to follow up with a visit to YBHF’s Facebook page, where you’ll find an abundance of inspiring posts and photos. You can also learn more about Mr. Jaboneta here, and tune in live to tomorrow’s Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations, where he’s punctuating the day’s messaging as closing keynote speaker.
With no further ado… Continue reading