Along with Tish Martinez-Castillo and Mike Go of Human Nature, I visited GK Liwayway village in Mauban Quezon, Philippines. We took a tour of their community farmland and made snow ("InstaSnow") for their first snowball-throwing experience.
I first discovered GK in 2007. I began simply by visiting a GK construction site where I met GK's founding father Tito Tony Meloto who shared many inspiring stories. I helped paint a house and lay down bricks for the village road. Back then I had no idea I was helping build more than homes and roads. GK taught me so much and introduced me to many extraordinary people building entire villages, schools, medical centres and creating social enterprises and livelihood projects helping transform the lives of the poor. GK also helped change my life and outlook.
Gawad Kaling (GK) translates to "give care" in Filipino. It is a Philippine-based movement that aims to end poverty for 5 million families.
Formally established in 2003, GK's work began as early as 1994 in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, the biggest squatters relocation site in Metro Manila. Since then GK has expanded its work to over 2,000 organized communities and has been adopted in other developing nations like Cambodia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It is also in the forefront of peace-building work in conflict areas in Mindanao and reconstruction work in post-disaster communities.