Two tightly linked Community Projects with a bright future on Camiguin Island
Yesterday afternoon two tightly linked Community Projects were officially inaugurated in Yumbing and Agoho on Camiguin Island.
Community Projects – Komunidad sa Baibai
Bright future vs. no future
In the title I wrote ” … Projects with a bright future … “. Why? In my now ten years here in the Philippines I saw many good ideas and many good projects crashing within some months or a few years. The reasons for these unfortunate crashes were almost everywhere the same:
- The good idea came from abroad
- The money came from abroad
- The initial management came from abroad
Filipinos are extremely open and enthusiastic for new ideas. Impatiently they cannot wait to start. And if money flows in from abroad, even the government welcomes almost any project with open hands (hmm, open doors). These projects are rather quickly brought to the launch day and operation. As long as the foreign project managers and specialist are on-site, these projects thrive like Hibiscus under the first sun rays.
When the initial project is ending and management and responsibilities are handed over to locals, the slow but almost sure decease begins. Why? It lacks of supervision, it lacks on management know-how and often technical knowledge is missing. The worst problem is that in Filipino culture proactive maintenance is unknown. Another particularity of the Filipino culture is the weird relationship to money. Budgeting and saving are mostly lacking knowledge.
Community based multi tier
The two linked projects in Yumbing and Agoho look much differently.
- The ideas came from within the community
- The money came from abroad and from the Philippines
This multi tier financing creates no dependency of one source
- The project is supported by Komunidad sa Baibai, German Cooperation and Coalition for better Eductaion
- The managers and supervisors are Pinoys/Pinays, with only one exception.
This leaders had been trained abroad and understand the scopes of the projects
- The projects earn money from the first day. Break-even will be reached within months
Long before the two Community Projects were officially launched, a vigorous training gave the local managers and supervisors the needed knowledge and self-confidence. The acquired language competence is a useful side-effect. A rather small prototype-project, the Camiguin Seaglass , had been launched over a year ago. This small scale pilot project allowed all parties a safe learning without any pressure. Errors could be eradicated , crafting skills were improved and hardware flaws could be improved. In this time also the two workshops were either build or transformed.
The School-based Workshop Center
The School-based Workshop Center is open to all students of the Yumbing National High School.
Yesterday, the first workshop to be opened in a ceremony is within the Yumbing National High School. Guest were welcomed with music and dances. The workshop is a light flooded former class room on second floor. 5 rather short speeches gave this moment ceremonial touch. Mrs Luchi Flores, Executive Director, explained the project’s scope and expected impact with a slide show. Afterwards Leaders, politicians and a member of the German embassy, Mr. Thorsten Gottfried, First Secretary Cultural Affairs, could follow the practical work of embroideries with their own eyes.
The Executive Director’s, Mrs Luchi Flores’, presentation: The full presentation in PowerPoint format is here.
Embroideries have been chosen because of their high part of skills/creativity and their low raw material and tools costs.
Mr Cocoy Bajuyo, Technical Head of KsB, Mr. Thorsten Gottfried, First Secretary Cultural Affairs of the German embassy and Mr. Elden Chamberlain, Chair of Balai sa Baibai and Komunidad sa Baibai
The Community-based Workshop Center
The second venue yesterday afternoon was the Community-based Workshop Center located within the premises of the Balai sa Baibai resort on the sandy beach in Agoho. This workshop center has four tasks: Instruction in seaglass jewelery conception and creation – the making of the jewelery – the intercultural encounters between tourists/guests and local creatives – the principal sales point and cultural gift shop.
Mr Cocoy Bajuyo showed the treasures to the guests of the opening ceremony. In the workshop we could examine the raw seaglass, the tools and the exhibition. With a smile on his lips, Mr Cocoy Bajuyo, showed us his most precious findings in a box labeled antiquities. The official ceremony ended with the unveiling of the second commemorative plate outside of the workshop.
Unveiling of the memorial plate
“Family photo” – no, that’s the official one …
…this is the “real family” photo
Some “seaglass experts to be” …
… and the real seaglass experts checking Cocoy’s antique treasures
Balai sa Baibai guests from Japan surprised us with their traditional outfit (… the men preferred rather convenient dresses)
Do you remember her?
She had been my assistant photographer. I wish her and the two Community Projects a bright future.