7 GK Programs

Shelter & Site Developmentshelter

Through TATAG, GK builds colorful, durable and secure homes for the poorest of the poor. TATAG in the Filipino language means “to build” or “to establish.”  The program also provides other physical structures such as pathwalks and drainage systems, water and toilet facilities, a school, a livelihood center, a multi-purpose hall and a clinic. In some areas, other structures such as basketball courts and libraries are also constructed once basic infrastructure needs are set up.

Child & Youth Developmentchild and youth development

GK provides value based education for pre-school children, aged 3 to 6 years old through its program called SIBOL, which means “to grow” in the Filipino language. GK provides a support program for street children of elementary age, from 7 to 13 years old. They are provided with academic tutorials, sports and creative workshops as well as a very solid values formation program through a program called SAGIP, which means “to save a life” in the Filipino language.

Through the SIGA program, scholarships are provided to those with the mental aptitude to pursue higher education. There is also a strong youth rehabilitation program where juvenile delinquents are provided with a range of activities and counseling sessions to help them live productive lives without committing them to rehab institutions. They are then integrated into the social mainstream and are eventually gainfully employed. SIGA in the Filipino language means “to light.”


LUSOG, meaning “healthy” in Filipino, is GK’s program for community health care. The health profile of every family in a GK community is carefully monitored by a volunteer team of doctors and paramedical practitioners; most GK areas now have a clinic. Malnutrition especially among children is addressed and arrested not just through feeding programs but also through parent education regarding proper nutrition and hygiene.


Through GAWAD KABUHAYAN (translated to “to give livelihood” in Filipino), GK conducts livelihood and skills training, provides start up capital and materials for microfinance and micro-enterprise, and assists in the marketing of the GK communities’ products. Food self sufficiency is highly encouraged by teaching technology for backyard farming, urban agriculture and poultry raising.

Even the very act of building homes and common facilities teaches new masonry and carpentry skills since the poor “pay” for their homes through “sweat equity” or by building their neighbor’s house side by side with the GK volunteers. This not only builds community spirit but also contributes to greater peace. After all, how can a GK Homeowner fight the neighbor who helped him build his house?

Values Formation/Community Empowermentkb

Every GK community is organized into a KAPITBAHAYAN Neighborhood Association, which is established to inculcate stewardship and ensure accountability, cooperation and unity. Guidelines for community living are decided upon by the members, and new leaders who espouse the values of the association start to emerge. Peace is achieved not by force, but by mutual adherence to an agreed set of values. This new culture is the key to the community’s sustainability, and sets the community on the road to self reliance.


Gawad Kalinga is pro-poor and pro-environment. We empower the poor to become caretakers of the environment instead of being its exploiters. GK teams are encouraged to plant fruit-bearing trees in and around GK communities and produce seedlings for tree-planting. We also educate the poor in solid waste management in partnership with environment groups and government agencies who provide their expertise and resources in these projects. Finally, GK communities are provided with clean, potable water for consumption and cleaning as a response to providing total quality of life for the poor.


Our communities showcase the best of the Filipino–warmth, hospitality, and the many colors and dimensions of our rich culture. We aim to make every GK Village a tourist spot showcasing the inherent charm and uniqueness of each community. The beauty of the Philippines lies not only in its natural resources but in the triumph of our people against poverty and oppression. Inspiring stories are well told in the vibrant smiles and shinging eyes of our residents in our GK communities. Visitors are welcomed by happy residents of our GK communities, proud of their homes, grateful for their blessings and hopeful for the future. GK is introducing performance arts such as painting and sculpture and literature to the communities to strengthen teh Filipino identity and to make the GK residents proud of their roots.

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