A Shared Hope for Siargao Island

Banner for Booth & Partners and Hope for the Island's partnership in Siargao blog content

Siargao Island has always been known as a tropical paradise. It’s a top surfing destination for both locals and tourists. Visitors find themselves falling in love with Siargao just enough to call the island their new home at some point, popularizing what is known as the “Siargao curse.” Word has it that once you experience the beauty of Siargao for yourself, you’ll either find yourself not wanting to leave or you’re bound to make a vow of return.

This seems true enough for Derek Van Ryckeghem, founder of Hope for the Island. He’s stayed in Siargao since the early 2000s. And Hope for the Island is our new, Siargao-based Planet partner.

At Booth & Partners, we’re driven by a simple belief: strong communities build strong futures. That’s why we constantly seek partnerships with organizations that share our vision and values. Sometimes, these partnerships happen in the most unexpected ways.

Finding the perfect fit for our next partnership often takes some serendipity. That’s exactly how we met Derek, the founder of Hope for the Island, a Siargao-based non-profit dedicated to empowering children and building a sustainable future for the island.

Derek Van Ryckeghem, founder of Hope for the Island, Siargao

It all started over breakfast. A mutual friend connected us with Derek, and as we shared stories and plates of delicious local fare, we discovered a shared love for Siargao and its people. The conversation deepened as we learned more about the island’s challenges, particularly the devastation caused by Typhoon Odette in 2021.

 The Kalinga House after Typhoon Odette hit Siargao

Yet, amidst the hardship, Hope for the Island’s unwavering dedication shone through. Their ongoing programs – from education initiatives for children to sustainable livelihood projects – provided a vital lifeline for the community.

Hope for the Island’s vision of “Restoring Hope and Healing Hearts” resonated deeply with our own values. Their ongoing efforts in areas like children’s education, and sustainable livelihoods mirrored the kind of positive impact we strive to make.

Carmen Booth, co-founder of Booth & Partners, found a particular connection with Hope for the Island’s work. “Their commitment to education, both inside and outside the classroom, aligns perfectly with my own advocacies,” she shared. “And of course, the Kalinga House reconstruction – providing a safe haven for children in need – is a cause we’re incredibly proud to support.”

Finding Hope in the Island of Siargao


Aerial view of Burgos, Hope for the Island’s location

Hope for the Island was founded by Derek Van Ryckeghem in 1997, but they were only registered as a non-profit organization last January 15, 2001. They serve the needs of people in Siargao Island through community-based programs, education, and sustainable development.

Children and the youth are the focal points of Hope for the Island’s initiatives. They provide a place of refuge, education, and passion to them. Over the years, Hope for the Island was able to expand its programs to the locals of Siargao through widow care, emergency aid, health restoration programs, and sustainable livelihoods.

Their outreach has now expanded to the island of Borneo. They’ve recently become a certified partner of 1% For the Planet.

Through Hope for the Island, Siargao locals are also enabled to pursue their calling in becoming leaders and agents for a good cause. In addition to their roles as Hope staff members, they also guide and engage with the visiting missionaries and volunteers at Hope for the Island.

Cristina, one of Hope for the Island’s social workers, expressed that the highlight of her service in Hope’s community is caring for the children and the youth who are struggling after experiencing abandonment and neglect from their parents.

Cristina’s experience exemplifies Derek’s initial mission in Siargao. He describes this in his own words by saying, “I came here [to Siargao] with a heart to serve, to give back, and to do things that will better people’s lives.”

Christina, Hope for the Island’s social worker
Hope staff members with Derek & his wife Jen

Rebuilding the Kalinga House for the Children of Siargao

Our partnership focuses on rebuilding the Kalinga House, transforming it into more than just a shelter. It will be a space for healing, learning, and environmental awareness. Social workers and mentors will guide these children, ensuring they receive the K-12 education they deserve and are provided with the emotional support they need.

Our Continuous Collaboration

This partnership goes far beyond bricks and mortar. We’re fostering the growth of organic farming initiatives, empowering local entrepreneurs and ensuring a sustainable source of fresh food for the community. Imagine families having access to healthy meals, and farmers and fishermen enjoying a stable income – that’s the future we’re working towards together.

But our commitment doesn’t stop there. Booth & Partners is dedicated to providing ongoing support to Hope for the Island. This includes ensuring scholarships remain available for the children, facilitating farm-to-table projects, and collaborating on exciting sustainability initiatives for Siargao Island. Together, we’re weaving a brighter future for Siargao, empowering each individual and family, one step at a time.

Interested to know more about Hope for the Island?

This is just the beginning of our journey with Hope for the Island. Together, we’re building a brighter future for Siargao, one empowered individual at a time.

Come join us by following Booth & Partners’ Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. We’ll be releasing exciting updates, fun facts, and an exciting 3-part documentary about Hope for the Island that will transport you to Siargao as we witness the progress of Kalinga House.

If you want to learn more about Hope for the Island’s background and initiatives, check out their official website, Facebook, and Instagram. Explore their programs, and learn how you can get involved.

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