Fight poverty in the Philippines through fishing!

Fight poverty in the Philippines through fishing!

We are a group of 4 students (HEC Paris/Medicine) developing this project with the support of charity organization Gawad Kalinga

We did it!

On 26th May 2015 we successfully raised £1,480 of £1,200 target with 12 supporters in 35 days

New stretch target

We want to raise £2000 : this would broaden the scope of possibilities for the project and therefore improve the living conditions in the village. 

We would enhance the fishing dimension of the project (purchase more boats, better fishing equipment such as sonars, hire more fisherman) as well as improve the delivery of our fish (improve the logistics, invest in the cold chain, sell the fish abroad). 

In order to complete the "first step"of the project, the minimum we need is £1200 : due to the "all or nothing rule" , we decided not to jeopardise this first step by asking more than £1200. But we can all go a step further, can't we?

So don't hesitate to invest in the project : the more you give, the better off they will be!

Project aim


We are a group of 4 students (HEC Paris/Medicine) developing and implementing this project with the support of the renowned international charity organization Gawad Kalinga.




Laura, Guillaume, Paul and Raphael are students at HEC Paris Business School and Reims Medicine University.

After extensive preparation, we will be travelling to Pasacao, a village in the Philippines, for 6 weeks in the early summer with the determination to help alleviating the immense poverty there.

We work hand in hand with Gawad Kalinga, a renowned international charity NGO, which strives to roll back the frontiers of poverty in the Philippines through practical work in and with local communities.


Why is a social business vital for the local community?


To be considered a charity work, this project needs to serve the people’s basic/staple needs: building a strong, sustainable economic activity is one of them, and is just as necessary as a school or a hospital. According to Gawad Kalinga, creating sustainable social businesses is a means to:

  • Recurring and reliable income for the village
  • Stable employment
  • Self-sufficiency with food



Our Goal: Improve the living conditions in a Filipino village through social business



Pasacao – a 400 people community – was built from scratch in 2008 by the Filipino foundation Gawad Kalinga. Since then, the village has developed a vegetable activity and a modest fishing activity.


European students have been going to the village for the last 3 years and the project we want to progress follows up on from our predecessors’ work. Hence, a new step is made each year towards sustainable development.

Please have a look at what our predecessors have achieved by clicking on the following links:

Pasacao’s goal is to eventually reach Gawad Kalinga’s development objectives, that is to say: ensure food self-sufficiency and develop an efficient, local social economy that provides work and resources for the whole village.



Gawad Kalinga – At a glance



Gawad Kalinga is an international NGO founded by Tony Meloto, a Philippinean social entrepreneur. The organisation has been awarded the Raymon Magsaysay price by the Rockefeller foundation in 2007, which is commonly perceived as Asia’s Peace Nobel Price.


GK aims to pull 20 million families out of poverty by 2024. In order to achieve this, it builds new villages from scratch – it then implements local social businesses to insure the villages’ development. The GK method does not only consist in giving out money to locals – it gets people to take part in economic value creation, making them responsible for the development of their village.


How does GK achieve their social development objectives ? GK relies on carefully selected European students to bring funds, teach local communities some basic management skills and implement social businesses.

Obviously, some of our time will also be devoted to local communities, assisting children in their homework or delivering basic medical treatment to those who need it.



Our social business project : Redesign the village's fishing business




We intend to redesign the village’s fishing business so it benefits a scale and efficiency step change:


The current status hardly benefits the villagers: they fish for themselves, thus without any equipment (fishing boats etc.…): their production is totally unpredictable and random. Then, they might sell the fish to the local marketplace. Most of the time they transaction happens at a knocked down price to middle men, as they can not be on an equal footing with them given the urgency of needs to feed their families.


In this context, our plan includes the following key actions:


  • Provide the fishermen with new equipment : boats/motors, fishing equipment, jeepneys essentially
  • Regroup the fishermen in a local organisation/ cooperative – create a business organisation that would pay them for the fish they bring back at a fair price
  • Thus create “one single great fish offer”, with increased quantity and bargaining to be able to sell the fish at a higher price to the target clients
  • Review where we are selling the fish - local market place, greater cities (Naga, Manila), abroad – and to whom we are we selling it - locals, commuters, restaurants, western people
  • We will also review if and how we might add value to the fish products: what type of fishes are people expecting, e.g. dried fish, fresh fish, transformed fish (food industry)?
  • Define the supply chain to deliver the fish as well as the marketing of the product. We would consider how to work on our image: Fair trade, natural fishing, GK social business (for the good of mankind) etc.…

While doing this , we would set the criteria to select the right people to run the business after we have left the village, teach them basic tools and provide some insights for the future. We want to create the conditions that everybody understands their part as well as possible so the chain resists over time.


We will do all of this conveying our values: fair trade, sustainable development and helping others.



Where will your money go to?


Every penny goes to the project - each of us pays its own fees (transport and daily life in the village). 

At start, the collected funds will be devoted to the renovation and purchase of equipment, the wages of our employees (fishermen, drivers…).

Why 1200£ ? We at least need 2500£ to get the business running (purchase the equipment and pay the first salaries). We therefore need your help to raise one half  - the other half will be raised thanks to every members hard work (private lessons for instance) prior to the project.  


Who we are


Where did all this come from?


Originally, all of us really wanted to help and take part in an incredible human experience – we deeply respect difference, imbue generosity towards others and cultivate intercultural sharing: these are the belie behind our journey. We believe that our diversity of profiles (medical and business students) will be able to bring significant help to the people of Pasacao. Even more importantly, we believe this fishing project will trigger a landmark in the sustainable development for the village.


Each of us, at a glance


Raphael: This HEC Paris business school first-year student is a skilled chess and rugby player: his strategic approach is key to develop the project. He also always cares for the group rather than himself.


Laura: also a first-year student at HEC Paris business school, she has strong Korean roots – this will undeniably be an asset when trying to understand a radically different environment – her understanding of others is key!


Guillaume: 2nd year student in medicine, Guillaume is also a dye-hard semi-professional rugby player. . Playing competitive rugby gives him courage and team spirit – He always strives to serve the group before himself – his determination will be key to succeed. He and Paul will also deliver basic medical treatments, a great help since a doctor rarely comes more than once a month in Pasacao.


Paul: Paul studies medicine with Guillaume in Reims. He took part already in many charity works – especially with Le Secours Populaire, one of the most prominent French organizations - which undeniably gives him the experience needed for this project. He is also a gifted speaker, which will help.


We all are bilingual in English. Raphael and Guillaume have lived over 15 years in the UK.




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