History of the program
Inato Homestay received their first guest in 2015. The homestay program was supported by a local NGO on Malapascua called People and the Sea. The main goal of Inato Homestay is to draw on the resources local residents already have in place, which in turn has the benefit of bringing an additional income to many families. Beyond that, the project has also sought to strengthen the adoption of an environmental code of conduct. It has become an opportunity for guests to have a brief insight into the everyday life of Filipino families on the island.
What is People and the Sea?
People and the Sea is a Philippine-registered non-stock and non-profit organization, which operates under a three-fold approach: (1) participatory monitoring of marine resources, (2) community empowerment, (3) the development of social and environmental entrepreneurship. Their major goal is to promote capacity building and community-based marine resource management as a way to increase the resilience of coastal communities, while also raising awareness about marine conservation along the way.
The homestay program has specifically been a part of People and the Sea’s larger project of building resilience within coastal communities through entrepreneurship.
The seed fund is the group’s revolving savings account dedicated to providing members of the association the ability to access interest free loans to make physical improvements, repairs, and renovations to their homes. These improvements are designed to provide both added comfort for the family, as well as to meet the designated standards required by the association itself. The money in the seed fund has accumulated due to a small portion of each person’s earnings from hosting somebody being set aside. In addition to those functions already mentioned, another major purpose of the seed fund is for the families to build an emergency fund to draw on in the event of a disaster, such as typhoon Yolanda which damaged/destroyed 95% of all structures on the island in 2013.
Since the start of the program in 2015, 19 different loans have been granted, for a total value of 130,000 PHP. Each individual loan has ranged in quantity from 3,000 to 10,000 PHP. Overall, these loans have been used to repair damaged roofs and walls, set up mosquito screens on windows, build running water systems, install tile floors, and upgrade bedrooms and bathrooms.
The pictures below show the direct effect the seed fund has on the families’ homes.