Gawad Kalinga is a foundation which building a nation empowered by people with faith and patriotism, a nation made up of caring and sharing communities dedicated to eradicate poverty and restore human dignity.
Being with the Filipino values and community spirit in each persons who joined in Gawad Kalinga Foundation, they have reached various places in order to show and express their vision and mission, and as well as their love to our country in a way of being passionate in whatever they do and also because of dedication of themselves in contributing good things in certain community.
So then, Concepcion Iloilo is one of the places that GK foundation has found their spirit to be more lively by establishing their projects while continuously doing their best practices for the success of their projects. Through regular community values formation and leadership sessions, GK residents (the Kapitbahayan) are also empowered to become program implementers in their own communities and partners in growing the movement towards nation building.
Gawad Kalinga in Concepcion is unique from other GK sites as concurred by Iloilo Provincial GK Area Head, because here the initiative of the Dr. Banias and the strong involvement of the local government unit are highly prominent and recognized. The GK board through the municipal Social Welfare Office facilitated the gathering of the baseline data to determine the beneficiaries, based on deplorable housing condition, absence of amenities and low income with big number of family members.Even though there were already some organizations that supporting most of their projects, the GK team has continuously campaigned for more support in order to realize its dream of building about 160 houses in three years’ time in such different locations and putting projects and implementing some resources that may be used for the source of income for many family .
Therefore, CSI (Center for Social Innovation) which is a business ecosystem developer that aims to build a culture of social entrepreneurship, business ecosystems are spaces that are forgiving enough for social entrepreneurs to make mistakes while testing prototypes and new business models; and spaces that are also demanding enough for them to build global Filipino brands that have real social and environmental impact.
CSI does this by engaging the Gawad Kalinga network and by leveraging on the Gawad Kalinga community platform. The first provides access to experts and volunteers from the academe, business, government and other fields. The second allows social enterprises an opportunity to achieve scale, sustainability and impact.
“The most important, however, are the Filipino values we try to practice in the way our business is run: bayanihan (community spirit), respect for each other, and the malasakit (compassion), hospitality, and warmth that Filipinos are known for around the world”, these was coined by one of the GK family member.
Today, the Immaculate Conception Village has 79 households. The families are working hand in hand in their source of livelihood, which includes , Virgin Coconut Oil, Vinegar, and Vegetables. These products are being sold in reasonable prices.
Inspeaking of Virgin Coconut Oil, we all know that it is very significant in many lives and even in any kinds of history in our society. The coconut palm is so highly valued by many people as both a source of food and medicine that it is called “The Tree of Life”, it is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine, which is mostly in local places. Only recently has modern medical science unlocked the secrets to coconut’s amazing healing powers.
People from many diverse cultures, languages, religions, and races scattered around the globe have revered the coconut as a valuable source of both food and medicine. Wherever the coconut palm grows the people have learned of its importance as an effective medicine. For thousands of years coconut products have held a respected and valuable place in local folk medicine.
Hence, Concepcion Iloilo is rich in many kinds of natural resources like coconut which they found that it’s a good source of livelihood. As well as stated above that Gawad Kalinga community in Concepcion Iloilo has already started with this good source of livelihood, that through the project of Gawad Kalinga Foundation in connection and supports of other organizations (government and non-government) , the community there was given a great opportunity to have a virgin coconut oil (VCO) production facility.
In supporting this livelihood production, Mike Go of Human Resources posted about the GK Iloilo VCO Orientation.The Social Enterprise Development team visited Gawad Kalinga Concepcion Iloilo last November to check on the planned upgrade of their virgin coconut oil (VCO) production facility.
The community was able to obtain a grant from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to purchase equipment and renovate their production area to meet Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. The team was accompanied by GK Iloilo Provincial Head Rose Cacho, Human Nature Iloilo Branch Operator Frances Lacuesta, who was volunteering as the GK Social Enterprise coordinator for the province, and Kapitbahayans of GK PLDT-Smart village in Sooc, who have their own community enterprise up and running.
The Kapitbahayan orientation started with a discussion on the characteristics of livelihood programs, NGOs, and businesses. The participants shared their insights on the value of each by citing examples from their community’s experiences. The group was enlightened to find out that business is not purely for profit, as it can be a vehicle that will provide and sustain the various needs of their community.
The thinking that doing good was only for small scale initiatives was dislodged as participants were introduced to the feasibility of thinking big whereby farmers transition from being farmers only to being also being producers and then being managers of their own VCO enterprise.
He said that the orientation laid down an important foundation for the kapitbahayan of GK Concepcion. Establishing a GMP production area in a GK village has its inherent challenges – yet as these community members embark on this journey of running their own community enterprise, Human Nature and Gawad Kalinga are right there with them in facing big risks and fulfilling bigger dreams.
Moreover, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said in a conference that the Department of Labor and Employment will partner with the Gawad Kalinga Foundation in advocating and promoting more social entrepreneurship among its project stakeholders and beneficiaries.
“The spectacular success of the Gawad Kalinga Foundation in advocating and practicing social entrepreneurship is inspiring, and its strategies for working for and among the poor squarely fits our goal of inclusive growth through decent and productive growth. We shall partner with the Gawad Kalinga in advocating and promoting social entrepreneurship among our stakeholders and beneficiaries,” Baldoz said.
She issued this statement after Antonio “Tony” Meloto, Jr., Gawad Kalinga Foundation chairman, spoke to DOLE officials and employees about “social artistry”, or social entrepreneurship, the second phase of Gawad Kalinga’s national and international development work.
Expressing admiration for Gawad Kalinga’s accomplishments, Baldoz has instructed the DOLE’s Human Resource Development Service to schedule a one-day study tour for all DOLE officials, including regional directors and upcoming retirees, in Gawad Kalinga’s social entrepreneurship center , so that they may learn of its best practices that can be replicated among DOLE’s project beneficiaries.
Meloto, who was guest of the DOLE at its Monday flag-raising ceremony, recently received the award for Gawad Kalinga as the world’s top social entrepreneur from e-Bay, the world-renowned Internet auction site.
Before the DOLE officials and employees led by Secretary Baldoz, Meloto narrated how he persevered in life to struggle out of poverty and become what he is today, a champion of the Filipino spirit of bayanihan and being social caring.
“Coming from a province where 84 percent of the population are technically “squatters” and poor, I strove hard to finish my education, had the good fortune of receiving scholarships, both here and abroad, and used what I have learned to help others in coping with poverty and hunger,” he said.
“I have seen and felt the widening gap between the rich and the poor, and from these experiences, I drew the courage to do what is right for my fellow Filipinos,” he added.
The Gawad Kalinga Foundation, with the support of local and international social partners both from the private and public sectors, was able to provide decent shelter to millions of Filipinos. Today, it is embarking on social entrepreneurship to create jobs for the poor by drawing on their creativity and the country’s rich natural resources.
That is why; the Gawad Kalinga in Concepcion Iloilo is indeed victorious in producing VCO as local medicine because of GK’s best practices in being passionate in working for people and by people.
Coconut “Tree of Life”. Retrieved August 31, 2013 from https://sites.google.com/site/coconuthealingbodysoul/160-uses-for-coconut-oil
Dole Seeks partnership with Gawad Kalinga on Social Enterpreneurship.Retrieved August 31, 2013 from http://www.dole.gov.ph
Gawad Kalinga in Concepcion. Retrieved August 31, 2013 from http://www.concepcion.gov.ph
Gawad Kalinga Foundation. Retrieved August 30,2013 from http://www.gk1world.com/newgkbuilders
Go. M.,2011.GK Iloilo VCO Orientation.Retrieved August 30, 2013 from http://humanheartnature.com/buy/index.php/content/gk-iloilo-vco-orientation