Boats for fishermen

Executive Director Anthony Tong reporting about his visit to the Philippines and Amity’s rehabilitation efforts after typhoon Hayian

Amity Foundation Hong Kong took part in the joint relief operation for Haiyan, Yolanda in January 2014, which benefited 5,000 families and some 25,000 people in 41 barangays in Ajuy, Batad and San Dionisio. Working closely with our chief local partner KAISA, a second visit to Iloilo was arranged during 21 – 24 March to oversee the further phases of relief aid and rehabilitation work supported by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. The generous donation of HK$180,000 by the RHKYC members allowed us to provide 34 fiberglass boats for some fishermen at Ajuy, Iloilo and to carry out emergency roof repairs in some classrooms.

Give a fish to a fisherman and you feed him one day. Provide a boat and you restore hope, dignity and livelihood.

On the boat project, KAISA partnering volunteers from the Iloilo Citizen Action Group (ICAG) and the Red Cross Iloilo Chapter (RC) have worked out a distribution scheme. The 34 recipients were chosen based on relative needs after a participative process headed by the local government and assisted by our local partners. Volunteers of the Red Cross double-checked the recipients’ claims and issued identifications as necessary. The ICAG volunteers were responsible for the logistics of the equipment. Together with the Local Government Units (LGU), they drafted a social contract binding the recipients in a “Payment Forward” scheme to plough back some of their income to a common fund in order to benefit other families not being given the boats this time.

Checking boat equipment with partners

Volunteers from KAISA, ICAG and Red Cross

Typical large families with many children

Fishermen read and signed Social Contract

The Ajuy Mayor Juan Alvarez, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor and the Provincial Administrator Dr Raul Banias officiated in the handover ceremony on 22 March 2014 in front of the Municipal Hall. Altogether 50 boats (34 donated by RHKYC and another 16 from other donors) were handed over to fisher families. They also got the engine, the propeller, two fishing nets and other basic equipment as well as a bag of rice. The fishermen were happy in signing the social contract. In subsequent interviews with 5 families, interviewees spoke of their harrowing experience, for example hiding under bamboo trees after their houses were destroyed. With a sharp decline of income from the previous 200 – 400 pesos down to the post-typhoon 100 – 150 pesos, they are now living at subsistence level. Mr. and Mrs. Jose Perreno with 6 children living in Tagubanhan, were in dire straits when their only means of livelihood, a “pump” boat was literally blown away by gusts of 195 mph. All they now need is to fix the winged outriggers and go back to their old trade of fishing.

Boats orderly laid out for distribution

Boats inspected by the beneficiaries

Proud owners with hopes for a happier future

The “Bankabuhayan” (translated as “Fishing boats for livelihood”) project was championed by KAISA. Through fund-raising activities including selling T-shirts, they hope to raise enough money to help fishermen in the Ajuy Municipality, found to be cooperative and proactive.

Keep education running means to maintain hope for a better future

Some site visits were made with KAISA members to do more fact-finding on schools destroyed in the storm. In consideration of the degree of damage and the kind of risks children were exposed to, the needs for emergency repairs were indeed justified. Amity supports emergency relief repairs of school buildings where roofs have been completely destroyed by the typhoon and are in the danger of collapsing. Pupils are still exposed to any wind and weather while attending classes. In case of bad weather, the children’s health is at risk or school is being cancelled.

The opportunity was also taken to witness additional phases of relief goods distribution for needy people in Ajuy and San Dionisio. The San Dionisio Mayor was most grateful for our assistance. The volunteers did an impressive job in supporting all the facets of relief and rehab work. Four month after the super-typhoon Hayian, communities are still try to reclaim their livelihood. Villagers visited do not hold much hope recovery would be soon.

A typical example of a school in need

San Dionisio Mayor commending the young volunteers

Children at school totally exposed to the elements

Village houses still in the need for reconstruction

Boy helping mother in bringing home the rice

Bona fide victims issued with identification papers

To support Amity's rehabilitation work and to help more families receive benefits you can transfer money through our bank account.

Bank Details
The Amity Foundation Hong Kong
Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp.
238 Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR,China
A/C #:127-5-017372

Download our donation form (PDF)