|Formation||July 28, 2003 (date incorporated)|
|Type||Nation Building Movement|
|Headquarters||Ground Floor, Cheng Building, 212 Haig Strteet, Brgy. Daang-Bakal, Mandaluyong City, Philippines 1552|
|Jose Luis Oquinena|
|Antonio Meloto (GK Founder)|
|Mission||Ending poverty to 5 million poor families by 2024|
||This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (November 2011)|
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.
Its mission is to end poverty for 5 million families by 2024.
The foundation for Gawad Kalinga was laid on December 26, 1995, when lay Catholic community Couples for Christ held a Youth Camp for gang members and juvenile delinquents in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, then the largest slum area in the Philippines. The program was organized by CFC – Youth for Christ.
In 1999, the first GK house was built for the Adduru 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 a campaign called the GK777 campaign to build 700,000 homes in 7,000 communities for 7 years.
On February 25, 2006, GK launched the Isang Milyong Bayani ("One Million Heroes", also known as GK1MB) program, where volunteers from various nations would donate 4 hours of work per month to assist in GK communities. The program includes an annual event called the GK1MB Bayani Challenge, a one-week national immersion/build activity, where volunteers within the program come together to build homes in a GK community for a week. The Bayani Challenge has been held in Aurora Province and Quezon Province (2006); Albay, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Marinduque, and Samar (2007); Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur (2008); and Sulu and Zamboanga City (2009).
The first 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 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 2018) 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. One of these Social Artistry sites is called The GK Enchanted Farm, a community meant to encourage the growth of social entrepreneurship.
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. GK seeks to relieve poverty by providing an environment in which Filipinos may work and be productive.
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.
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.
Center for Social Innovation: CSI (Center for Social Innovation) is a business ecosystem developer that aims to build a culture of social entrepreneurship. Business ecosystems are spaces that are forgiving enough for social entrepreneurs to make mistakes while testing prototypes and new business models; AND spaces that are also demanding enough for them to build global Filipino brands that have real social and environmental impact. 
Awards and Recognitions
2006 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:
|“||In electing the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation and its family of donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries to receive the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, the board of trustees (of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation) recognizes their harnessing the faith and generosity of Filipinos the world over to confront poverty in their homeland and to provide every Filipino the dignity of a decent home and neighborhood; and in electing Antonio Meloto to receive the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, the board of trustees recognizes his inspiring Filipinos to believe with pride that theirs can be a nation without slums.||”|
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.
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. On 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.
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.
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.
Separation from CFC
GK was a ministry of CFC, but as it grew into a national and now worldwide presence, the gap between the "CFC Mission" and the "GK way" widened.
On February 20, 2007, Antonio Meloto and Francisco Padilla resigned from their posts in GK. Padilla explained that their resignations were needed due to CFC's failures as a Catholic lay community. Two months later, on Easter Day, Padilla released his statement enumerating 18 points—such as involvement with Mormons, acceptance of donations from pharmaceutical companies that produce contraceptives, gradual secularization and erosion of CFC's presence, and excessive acknowledgment of Meloto as "founder and father" of GK—to support his conclusion that GK was responsible for CFC's veering away from its mission of evangelization of families.
However, what started as a conflict over GK led to division within CFC itself. The following months saw GK being criticized by Padilla and other CFC leaders (known as the "Easter Group" in homage of Padilla's article) for its failures, until some bishops from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines proposed that GK be separated from CFC. CFC stood by GK, and the Easter Group decided to convince some CFC leaders and members to separate from CFC, leading to the formation of the Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life.
A resolution between CFC and GK was finally reached in 2009, when CFC Executive Director Joe Tale announced the major decision of the CFC International Council "to let go of the governance and corporate structure of GK" so the latter can focus on its expanding work within and outside the country as a non-religious organization.
As a result of the departure of the CFC International Council from the GK Board, Archbishop Oscar Cruz of the Lingayen-Dagupan archdiocese instructed the clergy and lay people in his area to withdraw from GK activities, because through this development, GK has disconnected itself with the Catholic Church and is now open to tie up with organizations whose policies contradict Church teachings. This call was similarly made by Father Gammy Tulabing, a priest writing for The Negros Chronicle.
In response, Jose Tale appealed to Archbishop Cruz to reconsider the latter's instruction, particularly because CFC is still in solidarity with the now-autonomous GK and because there is still interdependence in membership between the two organizations despite the change in leadership.Meanwhile, Meloto supported Tale's explanation; there is no CFC-GK split as "no one has the right to remove Gawad Kalinga from CFC whose members have made heroic sacrifices to create this noble work that has transformed lives and deepened faith."
Criticism of GK
GK had been criticized for not assessing the income and housing status of some beneficiaries, as it had been reported some beneficiaries already own karaoke machines, washing machines, and air conditioners, items that put into doubt the qualification of some beneficiaries.
In April 2007, Martin Perez, a teacher from the Philippine Science High School, wrote in his blog that GK has failed in its purpose of uplifting people's lives when it disregarded the Aeta way of life in Sitio Target, Mabalacat, Pampanga. According to him, GK did not consult the indigenous people in the area when it went in there, preferring to focus on the non-Aeta inhabitants, thus leading to the marginalization of the Aetas in the area.
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