Raising Little Funds-A A +A
By Ria Jose
Thursday, April 7, 2011
TRULY, social media can be life-changing. Not just for those who use it, but also for those who do not even have access to it. While visiting Zamboanga in October 2010, Jay Jaboneta of the Presidential Communications Office learned that over 200 students living in an island in Zamboanga gulf would occasionally have to swim just to get to school at the Talon-talon Elementary School in Zamboanga City. He posted a status update on his Facebook account regarding this situation.
And what was just a status update started the campaign to raise funds to build a boat for the schoolchildren of Talon-Talon Elementary School. With the help of local organizations and personalities, led by Josiah Go, the "Zamboanga Funds for Little Kids" was established. And last March 27, 2011, Jay went back to Zamboanga to turn over the boat "Bagong Pag-asa" to the children of Talon-Talon Elementary School.
It was truly a testament to the power of social media which was also made more powerful with the spirit of bayanihan. Anton Lim, a Zamboangueño, hosted Jay and helped out in running errands in Zamboanga for the group. Tito Gadon of the Department of Environment of Natural Resources (DENR) office in Western Mindanao donated the logs, which were used to build the boat.
Another local, Jesse Jamolod helped out Anton Lim in finding and working with the the boat-maker, Abraham Mawadi. Tzu Chi Zamboanga also contributed their time, funds, and resources for the project.
Jay acknowledges the support of Sec. Sonny Coloma and the Presidential Communications Operations Office for giving him the opportunity to travel to Zamboanga. Jay also thanks the OP New Media Team composed of Mitch Alvarez, Shella Raet and Regan Santos, who helped design the project's logo.
Among the donors who contributed for the building of the boat were Manuel Wong, Joshua & Marilyn Go, Howell Cu, Josiah & Chiqui Go, Rosanna Llenado, Lerma Advincula, Maximo Joaquin, Butch Jimenez, Jerry Caritan, Cindy Trinidad, Danessa Lu, Juju, Chase, Tricia and Calel Gosingtian.
Jay asserts that one should not underestimate the power of the click. His simple story about the schoolchildren of Talon-Talon Elementary School in Zamboanga City posted on Facebook has been fuelled by the Filipino bayanihan spirit. It is now just the first of the many "little funds" being started in order to create small but lasting changes in the Filipino society.
Jay and the "Zamboanga Fund for Little Kids" are already discussing how to help informal settlers composed of more than 500 families that have fled due to the fighting in Sulu over the years.
Inspired by President Noynoy Aquino's call for Public-Private Partnerships, Jay hopes that more Filipinos will start their own "Little Funds" to create solutions to problems within one's own community.
Jay truly believes that little things can change this nation. For more information on the Little Fund project, visit Jay Jaboneta's blog at http:// www.jayjaboneta.com.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 08, 2011.