By Shubhpreet Kaur:
How do you or your kids get to school? Is it a long bus ride or long walk? Or shuttling back and forth in the family car? Have you heard about the kids who have to swim to school?
This was the reality for a whole community of children in the mangrove village of Layag-Layag in the Philippines. With no road access to get to the school 2 km away, swimming there was the only option. Arriving wet and sometimes injured from corals and crabs, the children’s notebooks, bags and other items would often also get soaked, if not properly wrapped in plastic.
After witnessing such conditions for kids just to be able to attend school, Jay Jaboneta and Anton Mari H. Lim founded the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation. Starting with one boat to bring 25-30 kids to school, they soon realised it wasn’t going to be enough for all the children.
As their efforts grew, so did their understanding what the community truly needed. What started as an attempt to get kids to reach the school safe and dry, has now developed into a foundation that builds boats, schools, provides medical help and even conducts livelihood programmes to help the communities.
The same boats that send the children to school also help fishermen in the community to earn a living. It’s amazing how one idea for a simple boat has grown to engage 40 communities and help 8,000 children and counting.
Nowadays, when it’s time for school, the kids grab their bags, get out the front door, and instead of a yellow bus, they board a cheerful yellow boat.
How You Can Help
Keen to jump in and help give kids a chance to get to school dry? Find out how.
This article has been republished from Our Better World.