Happy 3rd anniversary, Yellow Boat! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 16:10

Time sails so fast for the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation (YBHF). The foundation advocacy to help children go to school safe and have a brighter future has spread nationwide. Aside from supporting the education of children thru scholarships, school supplies and books, Yellow Boat is also conducting livelihood programs, conducting free medical and dental programs in far flung places where communities are isolated. These places are either in islands or in mountain barrios where seas or rivers separate them from the main land.

3 years ago, YBHF founder Jay Jaboneta learned that children of Layag-Layag, an offshore community in Talon-Talon, Zamboanga City, had to wade or even swim in sea to go to school. It was inevitable for the Layag-Layag children especially during school days.  The few boats the community had are being used for fishing and seaweed farming – the main source of income of their parents.  Their stilt houses are located above sea water.
During high tide, Layag-Layag children had to swim in the sea to reach school in the main land. Even it was low tide still the children have to walk thru murky and muddy sea floor. It is only upon reaching the shore that these children had to dress up for school. This was the scenario that touched the heart of Jaboneta. He was, at that time, in Zamboanga City as a speaker and special guest of Mindanao Blogger. He was a presidential appointee of Pres. Pinoy for the youth sector.

I met Jay when he was invited by Rotary Club of Zamboanga City thru civic leader Dr. Anton Lim, who later became his co-founder of YBHF. They shared with me about the Layag-Layag situation and their plan of donating a boat to Layag-Layag children.

Jay wrote about the Layag-Layag situation in his Facebook account and was encouraged by marketing guru Josiah Go who donated a certain amount to build the first YBHF boat. The boat was named Pag-Asa (Hope) and painted yellow a color that represent sunny and positive disposition. Pag-Asa became a viral in the FB and more donations and support came from individuals and organization here and abroad.

Today, YBFH is now recognized as a legitimate NGO and recognized  by SEC (Security Exchange Commission) as a foundation. It has received accolades, awards and recognitions from government and private institutions for improving loves of people in 13 communities and still counting. It is guided by this philosophy: “The great thing a little lamp can do which the big sun cannot do is to give light at night. It shows no one is superior by size but by purpose. If we cannot do great things, we can do small things in a great way. Little things make a big difference to God."

By Dante Corteza