Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Exploring Iloilo While Gaining the Satisfaction of Helping Others through Gawad Kalinga’s Mabuhay Program

These days, people are making great use of their time to participate in community volunteer work in poor communities that have great needs. And those who start to get involved in some kind of community volunteer work or connecting themselves to a voluntary charity organization are increasing. And there is certainly no shortage of opportunities to get oneself connected through the community volunteer work program offered by Gawad Kalinga.

Gawad Kalinga (GK) is a local-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement. Officially known as the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation it is aimed at empowering communities by people with faith and patriotism; driven by a culture of caring and sharing, dedicated to eradicate poverty and restore human dignity.

Gawad Kalinga is exceptional because it uses the holistic community development approach against poverty by connecting all sectors of society, through public and private partnership, and in the spirit of teamwork, GK is able to re-establish self-respect of the poor. It involves programs on Child and Youth Development, Community Building, Green Kalinga, Bayan-Anihan, GK Kalusugan and Community Infrastructure.

Volunteer work for Gawad Kalinga may range from visiting poor families to provide vaccinations, teaching skills such as cooking, sewing, and even tutorials to members in the community, and even building houses for residents of identified poor communities. There is something for just about anyone who is interested in getting involved. The organization is ready and willing to accept voluntary services.

Gawad Kalinga offers a great opportunity for volunteers to make a real difference in other people’s lives as well as working alongside teams of enthusiastic volunteers. Volunteers will enjoy the culture and warmth of the GK communities, as well as the opportunity to explore the local area and visit its attractions.

With tourism as its benchmark, Gawad Kalinga’s MABUHAY program allows one to explore the sights of an area while gaining the satisfaction of helping others. By working side by side with local residents you will be more than just a tourist passing through, you will become a member of the community.

The Gawad Kalinga-Iloilo Mabuhay project for the Christmas season is an inter-GK village Christmas Setting competition. Spearheaded by the First Lady of the province of Iloilo, Mrs. Cosette T. Defensor, Gugma Kag Kalinong sa Ti-on sang Pakwa involved the 67 households for USWAG PLDT-SMART Amazing GK Village in So-oc, Arevalo in Iloilo City; 45 households for Jose Maria “Rusty” Cacho Village in San Isidro, Jaro, Iloilo City; 57 households for Don Delfin Gonzalez GK Village in Jaro, Iloilo City; 42 households for Good Samaritan GK Village in Janiuay; 18 households for Saladmaster International/ Gloria Pacis GK Village in Pototan; 58 households for Fiesta Filipina Canada/ New Jersey GK Village in San Geronimo, Barotac Viejo; 32 households for Ajuy-Canada GK Village in Ajuy; and, 35 households for Immaculate Concepcion GK Village and 55 households for Chicago GK Village in Concepcion.

Gawad Kalinga’s Mabuhay project promotes a destination while taking part in projects in the local community on projects with potential positive social and environmental benefits to the community and the volunteer.

It is GK’s way to learn about the people and place you are visiting on a deeper level and establishing long-lasting connections, discover more about cultures and about oneself. It is also a way of giving back to a community you are visiting, to lend a helping hand to those in need, and to work towards a cause you and GK believe in.

Our world is a tough place, and there is no way to change it. But with a little compassion and a bit of time, we can actually make a difference. And if we cannot change the world, we can at least change their world.

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