Badjao Outreach, Inc., a North Carolina Registered nonprofit, was created in 2012 and incorporated in 2016.
Its founder, Joseph Zanetti Jr, recognized the plight of the Badjao tribe in Davao City which is located on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines while visiting in 2011.
The Badjaos that are found in Davao City are known as sea gypsies and were formally boat dwelling people. They originated from Zamboanga, Basilan, Jolo and Tawi Tawi which make up the Sulu Archipelago in Mindanao. The Badjaos are the poorest and most marginalized ethnic group in Southeast Asia.
What started out as a simple feeding program with a small number of children has since grown into an organization which provides sponsorships for children to enroll in public schools, as well as a learning center which provides both literacy and basic skills for the children and young adults. It also provides livelihood and training programs which enable older members of the tribe to earn a sustainable income for their families.