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Gawad Kalinga (GK), which means to "give care" in Filipino, is officially known as the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement.
In the Philippines, Gawad Kalinga is building communities empowered by people with faith and patriotism; a nation made up of caring and sharing communities, dedicated to eradicate poverty and restore human dignity.
Its mission is to end poverty for 5 million families by 2024. <ref>http://www.gk1world.com/HomeMissionVision#</ref>
The foundation for Gawad Kalinga was laid on December 26, 1995 when lay Catholic community Couples for Christ which gave birth to GK held a Youth Camp for gang members and juvenile delinquents in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, then the largest slum area in the Philippines.
In 1999, the first GK house was built for the Adduro family, also from Bagong Silang. The name "Gawad Kalinga", which translates in the Filipino language either as "to give care" or "to award care", was coined in 2000.
The first GK Expo was launched on October 4, 2003, in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. During this gathering, GK launched the GK777 campaign to build 700,000 homes in 7,000 communities for 7 years.
In February 25, 2006, GK launched the Isang Milyong Bayani ("One Million Heroes", also known as GK1MB) campaign. It sought to raise a massive army of heroes for the poor that will stand up against poverty. This year also started the GK1MB Bayani Challenge, a one-week national immersion/build activity. The Bayani Challenge has been held in Aurora Province and Quezon Province (2006); Albay, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Marinduque, and Samar (2007)<ref>http://gk1mb.multiply.com/journal/item/3/UPCOMING_EVENTS_FOR_GK1MB_IN_2007</ref>; Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur (2008)<ref>http://gk1mb.multiply.com/journal/item/16/H.O.P.E.2008_GK_Bayani_Challenge</ref>; and Sulu and Zamboanga City (2009)<ref>Covarrubias, Sheila. "2009 Gawad Kalinga Bayani Challenge ends", SunStar Zamboanga, April 18, 2009. Retrieved on May 25, 2009. </ref><ref>Martel, Rene. "Smart joins house building with GK", The Manila Times, May 15, 2009. Retrieved on May 25, 2009. </ref><ref>Pareño, Roel. "Gawad Kalinga volunteers build houses in Zamboanga, Sulu", Philstar.com, April 18, 2009. Retrieved on May 26, 2009. </ref>.
The Gawad Kalinga Global Summit was held in Boston, Massachusetts, last June 12-14, 2009. During the event, GK launched a 21-year timeline to end poverty for 5 million families, by providing land for the landless, homes for the homeless and food for the hungry.
The Gawad Kalinga Development Model
The first phase of the GK journey sought to achieve Social Justice by raising 700,000 homes and start–up 7,000 communities by the end of 2010. The goal of the campaign called GK 777 is to "un-squat” the poorest of the poor, heal their woundedness, regain their trust, build their confidence, make them think and act as a community and to share the joy of a country rising from poverty.
GK is now moving into the next 7 years (from 2011 to 2017) towards the stewardship phase called Social Artistry: strengthening governance; developing community-based programs for health, education, environment, and productivity; building a village culture that honors Filipino values and heritage. The goal is to empower the powerless for self- governance, self- reliance, and self- sufficiency. The final phase in the last 7 years from 2018 to 2024 is envisioned as a time of Social Progress. This phase seeks to achieve scale and sustainability by developing the grassroots economy and expanding the reach and influence of GK to 5 million families with support from key sectors of society in the Philippines and partners abroad. We will make the Filipino poor “unpoor” by unleashing his potential for productivity and hard work in the right environment.
The 21-year journey of Gawad Kalinga represents one generation of Filipinos who will journey from poverty to prosperity, from neglect to respect, from shame to honor, from third-world to first-world, from second-class to first-class citizen of the world. The term first-world simply refers to greater opportunities, higher standards, and better quality of life available to more of its citizens.
With a development road map in the Philippines, GK seeks to create successful development templates that can be replicated in other developing countries, helping to create a world free from poverty. <ref>http://www.gk1world.com/speakers</ref><ref>Esteves, Patricia. "Noli still coy about 2010 bid", Philippine Headline News Online, June 15, 2009. Retrieved on June 15, 2009. </ref><ref>Visaya, Momar. "GK Global Summit in Boston: RP out of 3rd world status by 2024", Asian Journal, June 16, 2009, p. A1. Retrieved on June 18, 2009. </ref>
GK's Holistic Development Program
What makes Gawad Kalinga special and unique is its holistic community development approach against poverty. GK's Tony Meloto believes that "Poverty is not a lack of resources but a lack of caring and sharing."
By engaging all sectors of society, through public and private collaboration, and in the spirit of bayanihan (teamwork and becoming heroes to one another), GK is able to restore the dignity of the poor.
Child and Youth Development: The GK CYD program aims to develop the skills and talents of the children and youth in the GK communities by inculcating values that bring out their full potential. SIBOL, which means “to grow,” provides value-based education to pre-school children, aged 3 to 6 years old. SAGIP, which means “to save a life”, is a support program for children aged 7 to 13 years old, which consists of free academic tutorials, sports and creative workshops and values formation classes. SIGA, which means “to light”, empowers teens to become productive citizens through sports, creative activities and mentoring sessions.
Community Building: The GK Community Building program seeks to empower poor communities to become self-reliant and sustainable by building up its people, preparing their leaders and residents to eventually care for their own communities while instilling in them the heart and capacity to help other poor communities.
Green Kalinga: The GK Environment program aims to create "green" model communities through its various programs to protect the environment. Love and care for the environment are inculcated among community members through seminars while creating environment- friendly projects like solid waste management and partnership with environment advocacy groups and government agencies. "Save the poor, save the environment."
Bayan-Anihan: The GK Food Sufficiency program is committed to empower the hungry and to eradicate hunger. It is envisioned that each family in a community is empowered to produce their own food to augment their needs.
GK Kalusugan: The GK Health program believes that every Filipino has the right to good health, and ensures that community health care services are delivered to those that need it the most. Volunteer doctors, nurses and medical practitioners here and abroad contribute to ensure that health profiles of GK residents are maintained, connect them to local health care centers and hospitals, and train Health Care Volunteers from among the residents who can help address the community’s own day-to-day health needs.
Community Infrastructure: The GK Community Infrastructure Program (CIP) aims to build brightly painted homes in sustainable communities for the poorest of the poor. Homes and other communal facilities (multiple purpose centers, school buildings, clinics, etc. are built through a combination of skilled paid labor and sweat equity of the GK residents themselves. <ref>http://www.gk1world.com/HomeDevModel#</ref>
Ramon Magsaysay Award
On August 31, 2006, Gawad Kalinga and Antonio Meloto, GK Chairman, both received the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership. Francisco Padilla, former CFC Executive Director and GK Chairman, received the award for GK. Their citation reads as follows:
Gawad Haydee Yorac Award
On October 4, 2006, Meloto received the first Gawad Haydee Yorac Award "for his outstanding visionary leadership and compelling philosophy inspiring a pioneering sustainable movement of volunteerism to eradicate poverty through Gawad Kalinga community development ministry, giving hope and dignity to marginalized Filipino families, building homes and model communities in the Filipino spirit of ‘bayanihan’, emulating the selfless public service espoused by the late Haydee Yorac." The Award was given by the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) and the University of the Philippines.<ref>http://www.meralco.com.ph/gawadhaydeeyorac/news_article_03.html</ref>
International Street Paper Award
On May 14, 2009, Jeepney magazine won the Best Interview award at the second International Street Paper awards in Bergen, Norway, for the article "The Marketing Man of Gawad Kalinga" by Jimbo Gulle. The article, which was an interview of Meloto, was deemed “unusual” and “exceptional” by the judging panel.<ref>Esteves, Patricia. "Gawad Kalinga to unveil 2024 vision in Boston", Philippine Star, June 8, 2009. Retrieved on June 11, 2009. </ref><ref>http://www.street-papers.org/2009-awards/</ref>
Paraiso: Tatlong Kwento ng Pag-asa
In 2006, GK began collaborating with some Filipino actors to produce a film about the program. The production, which translates to English as "Paradise: Three Stories of Hope", is a compilation of three films, each with a different cast. "Paraiso" is produced by Butch Jimenez, Tony Gloria, Tony Tuviera, and executive produced by Bobby Barreiro.
Umiyak Man Ang Langit (Even If Heaven Cries, directed by Jun Lana) is based on the life experiences of Jocelyn Llorente (played by Maricel Soriano). Llorente, along with her husband and six children, were victims of the mudslides in St. Bernard, Southern Leyte on February 2006, and one of her children died in that tragedy. Her grief was tremendous, but in time it was replaced by joy, as GK came to her area, which helped her rebuild her life as well as her family's happiness.<ref>Lejarde, Mercy. "Maricel Soriano urges public to watch "Paraiso" in support of Gawad Kalinga", telebisyon.net, July 3, 2007. Retrieved on May 25, 2009. </ref><ref name="rpconsulate">"Free screening of Filipino films at the RP Consulate General in New York", philstar.com, July 2, 2009. Retrieved on July 3, 2009. </ref>
Ang Kapatid Kong Si Elvis (My Brother Elvis, directed by Joel Ruiz) is a happy story inspired from true-to-life events in Southern Leyte. The story centers on a boy named Michael who suffers from rectal prolapse and compulsively eats stones. In April 7, 2002, Dr. Jerome Paler, a GK worker in the CFC Medical Mission Foundation, visited the area where Michael lived. Upon learning of the boy's condition, Paler brought Michael to the hospital for treatment. Eventually, he convinced his family to adopt Michael as their own, and their love for him helped in taking care of Michael. In this story, Michael V. and Carmi Martin played Paler and his wife Gina. Gian Bernabe played the role of Pepe, the couple's neglected teenage son, while Paulken Bustillo plays the role of Elvis, the adopted, pebble-eating son.<ref name="rpconsulate"/>
Marie (directed by Ricky Davao) is a story based on how a tragic loss can be turned into a living legacy and a new beginning. Marie Rose Abad (played by Lexi Schultz) perished in the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 attacks. Her disraught husband, Rudy Abad (played by Cesar Montano), remembered her vow of helping impoverished street children in the Philippines. Abad, a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, met his former classmate Mike Goco, a GK volunteer, and Abad begins to realize that Marie Rose's dream can be fulfilled by dedicating an entire GK site for her. This site is now the Marie Rose GK Village in Baseco, Tondo, Manila.<ref name="rpconsulate"/>
The movie premiered on June 12, 2007, at the SM Mall of Asia, and was made available for local showing on July 4 of the same year.