I’m Josh Spilewski from Boston, MA and I am currently studying for my MBA at Bentley University. I had an opportunity this past December to backpack around the Philippines and instead of turning it into a vacation I decided to help the victims from typhoon Pablo and ended up falling in love with the country and its people.
Currently in the Philippines only 6 out of every 1,000 children from elementary schools ever make it to high school and graduate. The main reason for this is that they have to work and help support their families. So rather than studying and earning an education they have to quit school at an early age and help support their families. The goal of this social business will be to support one Filipino child’s education at a time by using 50% of profits generated from the business.
The website that I am currently developing is going to be selling hand craft products that are made in the Philippines. The handmade craft market is a multi-billion dollar industry, there are many websites out there that sell these over priced items that they buy for just a few dollars in countries like the Philippines and sell them for $40-50 completely taking advantage of these people and keeping all the profits to themselves. What I am doing is creating a website with sustainable business model that not only will provide more business to these craft artists in the Philippines but 50 cents out of every dollar that is profit earned will go towards supporting one Filipino child’s education at a time. Once the website is complete I will be going to the Philippines this summer to start getting the social side of the business started. The business will be focused on maximizing the amount of children that we can get to graduate high school in the Philippines. Unlike most business I will provide a separate page on the website so you will see exactly where each dollar goes. I will give you live video updates each week on the progress we are making and more importantly the children that we will be supporting.
Mahatma Gandhi once said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. This is a quote that I live by, why wait for an organization or a government try to solve a problem when you have the ability to make an impact.
Once I am in the Philippines and have the website establish I will start to find elementary school children who are working when they should be in school. I am able to speak Tagalog and I will be able to find out why the child is not in school and if he/she has to work to support their family. I will video the process and I will always give you all updates each week on the progress through our Facebook page and Twitter. On average the cost to put a child through school a day in the Philippines is around $1.
I have already used my own funds to start to design and build the website and get the supplier contacts in the Philippines; as well as the expenses for the webhosting and graphic designs. The focus of this Gogetfunding project is to raise the funds for the social part of the business; I need to be physically in the Philippines to make this happen. There is an old adage that says we are only 7 handshakes away from anyone in the world. This is the idea behind this social media campaign. We may know some of the people you might pass this on to, but we probably do not know the friends they would pass this along too and by the time you get to the 3rd and 4th tier of forwarded messages who knows where this could go. By making a financial support and then forwarding this onto your friends you will be helping us to reach our goal and beyond. The wonderful thing about Gogetfunding is that any funds raised will go towards this project; this is not an all or nothing event. We need 1050 people to support us with $5 to reach our goal, really that isn’t much but we cannot do it without your help. AND, anything I raise above that will go directly in supporting a Filipino child’s education right away.