Hope and expectations are high among supporters of Gawad Kalinga (GK) that GK is the way to a kinder, gentler, and more loving world. Conflict and violence, even for a good cause, will not lead to peace and prosperity in the long run. The hurts, suffering, and pains must be overcome. A new way must be forged, one founded on forgiveness and the heroic and sacrificial love, service, and leadership of Jesus Christ. This is the model that Gawad Kalinga espouses and is showing to be viable.
A week since the GK1World activities, I continue to marvel at how organizers and Gawad Kalinga workers were able to gather some of the best and brightest to strategize on how to make this vision a reality. Neither the cold, windy, and unpredictable weather nor the long-hours failed in dampening the spirits and energy of the participants to the Highway of Hope caravan, the ONE Celebration at Kimball Park, National City, and the two-day GK Builders Summit at the Marriot Del Mar. This GK1World celebration is a preview of what Gawad Kalinga aims to initiate and accomplish in the coming years.
Fil-Am supporters in
The ONE caravan, led by NAFFAA officer JoAnn Fields, sought to highlight the important socio-economic-political presence of Fil-Ams in
The day-long ONE celebration at Kimball Park,
The ONE Celebration had extensive private sector support.
The next day, ANCOP
The schedule was packed and involved talks, videos showings, updates and reports, and interactive workshops. The
Consider the following developments. Fil-Ams and Fil-Canadians have funded at least 320 GK communities, which are now entering their education, health, environment, and productivity phases. These communities still need maintenance help and capacity building in order for them to become more self-reliant and themselves become partners in developing and helping other GK communities.
Ricky Cuenca and Rose Cabrera reported that Gawad Kalinga is entering the African continent, where generations have been lost to AIDS, poverty, war, and environmental destruction.
Gawad Kalinga seeks to establish 2,000 new GK communities this year to exponentially ramp up the number of communities. With God’s and everyone’s help, the goal of 7,000 communities by the year 2010 is becoming feasible. In order to achieve this, Gawad Kalinga needs to recruit a million volunteers worldwide, inspire members of Couples for Christ to become more active in GK, prepare GK beneficiaries to become GK partners themselves, and transform supporters from the academic, private, and governmental sectors into key partners. It is a grounds-up, nation-building model in the works.
Recently, Tony Meloto reported that the Philippine Department of Agriculture offered to fund the entire 300 demonstration farms that GK was planning on rolling out. The offer jumpstarts the GK food productivity and abundance program. He also noted that the City of
Alaminos, Pangasinan Mayor Nani Braganza shares the same thinking. In his talk, he reported that Alaminos is jueteng-free. They’ve been able to reduce malnutrition from 22% to 7%. He is partnering up with GK to assist 1,000 squatter families and build 30 GK villages in his town. The future also thus lies in dynamic and innovative local leaders. Around 350 mayors are tapping GK in solving their twin problems of squatting and poverty. The work cut out for GK is massive, hence the call for heroism and padugo to fellow Filipinos and kindred spirits worldwide.
Help is coming in other unconventional ways. Luis Onquiñena reported that all campuses of
Tony Meloto observed that partnering with GK makes good sense. GK is becoming the Armani and Gucci of community development. The Philippine Star reported a 100% positive support in a survey it conducted on GK. Next year the GK Builders Summit will be held either in Harvard or MIT as GK seeks to establish its presence in Philippine and American universities in the hope of melding the “Science, System, and Spirit” of GK. On October 10, 2010 or 10-10-10, there will be a massive gathering in the
The future is unfolding for GK.
Nathan Mari calls it G(od’s) K(ingdom).