James ploughs spare money and time into a number of community projects which he initiated over the course of the last 3 years and which he has passionately supported since JDW Community Projects, a non-stock non-profit company oversears the projects with the help of a young and energetic team.
Bantayan Crafts aims to empower through enterprise the women of Bantayan, an island located off the North coast of Cebu and destroyed during the Typhoon. A 50 piece range of gifts was designed and launched using storm debris and natural materials, Participating women have assisted in making over 4,000 pieces which have been professionally packaged and displayed on custom made point-of-sale racks. As of mid 2015 monthly sales are in excess of $5,000.00 with all profit returning to the women.
Bangka Relief has repaired 220 small fishing boats in Bantayan and made 327 fishing boats for Tacloban fishermen. All aspects of the program are aimed towards the sustainable, from the design of boat which is made completely from certified sustainable wood to the process of releasing the boats which encourages fishermen to support sustainable fishing methods. An important part of the program is the enrollment of the fishermen in a health and livliehood insurance scheme.
With over 8,000 seedlings planted in 2013, James aims to plant and nurture to full growth 80,000 seedlings by 2019 made up of indigeanous hard woods, fruit bearing trees and timber trees. An important aspect of James’ program is to ensure that the local folk are partners in the process. James’ goal for 2015 is to plant 10,000 seedlings in North Cebu.
Tacloban Crafts is a dream that I have had since assisting the Tacloban fishermen with new boats after the storm surge of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda carried away their fishing boats late 2013. It is clear that fishing at the pre-2013 rates in the Tacloban straits is unsustainable and I wanted to assist with a community development program that was not reliant on unsustainable resources. Hence Tacloban Crafts, which is focused on training under privileged ladies in shelter homes to make crafts, which are offered for sale in custom-made point of sale displays which we provide at the airport and other high-volume tourist spots. As with Bantayan Crafts 50% of the profits of the sale go back to the maker with the remaining 50% growing the Association