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Friday, November 03, 2006

Gawad Kalinga: the common man's revolution?

People say that Filipinos are eternally optimistic. We continue to hope that one day an able, benevolent, patriotic, and self-less leader will come and solve all our problems. However, if the number of Filipinos leaving the country for overseas jobs is any indication of the level of optimism these days then it would seem like the optimists are busy waiting in line for their visas. The current political firmament does not have a single shining star for people to pin their hopes on. Sadly, there is no viable political leader that people can truly respect, trust, and emulate. Must the wait for a political savior be long and disappointing?

A few people behind Gawad Kalinga (which means “To Give Care” in Filipino) or GK have decided not to wait. They have started a movement that is spreading all over the archipelago and beyond. GK is a movement that aims to transform squatter colonies into thriving, self-sustaining, and peaceful communities. I liken it to Habitat for Humanity on Red Bull. Although commendable, the building of houses for the homeless is the least exciting of what GK does. The focus of the organization is on the value of working together for a common cause and bringing the whole community to share in the labor and the reward. The outcome has been very encouraging. This peaceful revolution initiated by GK may very well be the savior that each Filipino is waiting for.

In this episode of Pinoy Post, former Secretary of Agriculture, Luis “Cito” Lorenzo talks about Gawad Kalinga and his involvement with the organization. He also gives his insights on government service, the “broken-ness” of people, and how people can help through GK. Sec. Lorenzo is currently in Washington , D.C. on sabbatical. He is the GK National Adviser on Productivity in the Philippines and its National Partnership Adviser in the US.

Part 1 of the conversation covers former Sec. Lorenzo's background and insights on government service. To listen to Part 1 of the conversation, click this link: Episode003A (6 minutes)

Part 2 is the introduction of Gawad Kalinga and his misconception of the poor. To listen to Part 2 of the conversation, click this link: Episode003B (10 minutes)

Part 3 continues with the efforts of Gawad Kalinga and how people can help. To listen to Part 3 of the conversation, click this link: Episode003C (16 minutes)

The transcript of the interview will soon be posted here.

Ready to help Gawad Kalinga?


Photo credit:
Gawad Kalinga house courtesy of www.kathleenbell.com
Fmr. Sec. Lorenzo's picture courtesy of the US Department of Agriculture website


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1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How I wish that I can join the Gawad Kalinga Global Summit. on Boston this month. Gawad Kalinga aims to eradicate homelessness, hunger, and poverty for the millions of impoverished Filipino families all over the Philippines.

11:56 PM  

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