Behind these two statements is the development and prosperity key that enabled Filipinos in the
How did they do this?
Simply, they live and progressed in the right environment.
GK Poveda Village, Taguig City 2007
Filipinos need an environment where they can meet their basic physical needs, live in security and dignity, and become the best they can be. Anthropologists call this the household livelihood security framework. It is about having the resources to make the right choices.
The good infrastructure facilitates moving around, doing business, and enhances communication, and information gathering. In the
In general, the law is straightforward and followed. Among ordinary Americans, a handshake agreement is kept because one’s name is sacred. This makes business relatively safe and secure.
The strategy looks simple, but it took decades of discussion, conflict, trial and error, painful experiences, and deep reflection. Today, the
The poorest of the poor are just like you and me. They have dreams and aspirations for a better life for themselves and their families. They are survivors. With the right environment, they can blossom, like any Filipino or American. They have an innate potential to do good, become even better persons, and can be an asset to the
All they need is the right environment.
Again Gawad Kalinga’s Tony Meloto:
“The saying,’Give someone fish and he will continue to ask for fish; but teach someone to fish and he will fish for himself’ is not true in the Philippine setting. The poor know already how to fish, but they ain’t fishing! We need to change the environment for the poor to become God’s perfect creation.”
We need an environment where institutions work, things are predictable, and where hard work, talent, and persistence are rewarded. Sharing and caring are also needed in smoothing out the rough edges of capitalism and competition. A sustainable economy is one where people can be the best they can be, while the vulnerable are protected and nurtured to independence. Freedom and responsibility form the two sides of the development coin.
Gawad Kalinga is shortcutting the
To spur institution building, Gawad Kalinga communities are supported by a seven point ON-SITE community development program that includes: (1) site and shelter development, (2) community organization/Kapitbahayan and values transformation, (3) community-based health program, (4) child and youth development, (5) economic productivity, (6) environment, and (7) a Mabuhay/ welcome program.
Only a holistic program that develops the individual, family, and community will succeed in building strong institutions in the
With 1,700 communities established since its launching in 2003, more than half a million poor Filipinos are enjoying their own colorfully painted homes amidst a safe, secure, and happy community. They are beginning to access education, health, training, livelihood, and capacity-building services.
More needs to be done and more poor Filipinos need to be helped. Why wait for an armed revolution or a breakdown in society to change, when there is an alternative way based on love, sharing and caring, and padugo- bleeding for the cause literally in blood, sweat, and tears?
Gawad Kalinga, meaning to give care, is building God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Join us in this journey.