Over the past few years Jake has fallen in love with the Philippines. As well as leading various WildFire teams on short term adeventures to #RaiseTheJoyLevel - Jake has pioneered and invested in long term projects that will affect communities in the Philippines for years to come.
In mid 2014 Jake launched a project, along with Clutching At Straws, to build a bridge for an isolated comminty in the city of Cagayan de Oro, Northern Mindanao. The community is cut off by a river which is currently spanned by a bamboo bridge. When water levels rise the bridge is washed away, this has caused several children to lose their lives and means that children cannot access education and parents cannot get to work. These factors massively affect development and the ability for the villagers to work themselves out of poverty.
The great news is that the charity album released by Clutching At Straws has now raised enough money to build a permanent bridge, work will start once the national elections have taken place to avoid any political party claiming the work as their own; it is vital that the community see this as their own project and take real ownership of it.
Jake is currently working with local YWAM leaders in Cagayan de Oro & has helped establish two micro-businesses with teens and mothers. The teens have been producing greetings cards, largely from up-cycled materials, which are sold around the world. This provides an income which contributes toward their high school & college education. The current hope is to expand the business to leather work, including belts and satchels.
Mothers in community are currently producing t-shirts and other garments as well as curtains. This is currently providing a living wage of up to 2000 PHP (£30) per day. The hope is to continue to train and equip more mothers and girls in using the high speed machines as well as to continue to expand the rage of fabrics & garments produced.
Tribal Adventures & Sustainable Development
During 2016 Jake & a WildFire team were inducted into a tribe known as Higa-Onon. The Higa-Onon people have traditionally been a collection of nomadic tribes moving throughout the mountains of Mindanao in the southern part of the Philippines. More recently the government has asked the nomadic people to settle on what has been called their 'ancestral domain'.
Not used to farming the land, delegations of tribal people have been sent to the foot of the mountains at the outskirts of the city in order to access funding and to gain education which will facilitate better farming of the ancestral domain, greater economic empowerment & ultimately a higher living standard.
The WildFire team were able to work alongside the tribal people to install safe sanitation and clean water solutions; the team were also able to facilitate the training of tribe members & some of our local partners in the theory & practice of starting & maintaining permaculture agricultural techniques practise.
Jake, alongside several other interested people in the WildFire network, is currently gaining experience in permaculture and other sustainable/self sufficient methods that will help achieve tribal aspirations; as well as lead to being better equipped to work alongside other people groups in the future.
- Clean water solutions
- Sanitation innovation
- Small scale renewable energy
Bamboo Bridge Destroyed
Mass Wedding in Gusa, Philippines