During my stay in the Philippines I visited the island of Bohol. This beautiful island has everything for a perfect holiday; long white beaches, cute tarsiers, green rice fields and friendly people.
Flip Flop tours arranges accommodation with local host families. It was a great experience to stay in local houses, and meet so many nice and friendly people. I can really recommend this to anyone!
BQA aims to help the unreachable people, the ones that were not reached by the other relief organizations, for example because the live in very remote areas. The president of this foundation is ‘mister Nestor’, he has a long history in development work. He showed me a great example of community owned development. Not BQA decides how the houses are constructed, but the local carpenters do. The community also had to decide who has to be helped the first. In one of the villages the community decided that an old couple needed to be helped fast because their daughter was seriously injured during the earthquake, and the couple had no one else to help them.
I visited two communities in Bohol where houses were build. BQA builds a core house, this is small, but provides the family with a ‘start’. When I visited I saw many families were already expanding the core house, and were really putting effort in decorating their houses (which shows ownership). Official international standards claim the houses are temporarily because they are small and made of local materials. But actually, In Bohol many people live in houses like this always. So the houses can be permanent, definitely because people can extend.
I was only with BQA for one day, but explained that WAP hopes to send more volunteers. Two Dutch volunteers already went there for two weeks, and everybody still remembers them. People were honored that young people from far away visited their village, and helped them. So anyone who likes to help and stay with this wonderful and welcome people, tell WAP! I think… I know, this will be an experience you will never forget!
I Love Bohol and it’s People!