what is GK?
Gawad Kalinga which means to “give care” is a holistic approach to poverty. GK is a community development model which begins at the grassroots level, fueled by a massive army of volunteers and partners who are working together in bayanihan (cooperation) to bring about change and to restore the dignity of the poorest of the poor.
In the Philippines, GK is a nation-building movement, that engages all sectors of society from the government, academe, corporate, religious, NGOs, and private citizens. Together, we are building a first-class Philippines one community at a time.
A Timeline to Timelessness
1995: Hope Begins
Couples for Christ in the Philippines gave birth to Gawad Kalinga with a youth camp in one of the biggest slum areas in Metro Manila: Bagong Silang, Caloocan City.
1996 to1999: Sacrifice and Perseverance
Social engineering began in Bagong Silang by working with families of the gang members and beautifying community areas. The very first GK house was built for the Adduru family.
2000: Setting the Foundations
Gawad Kalinga Awards 2000 was launched, and 11 teams pioneered the first GK villages outside of Bagong Silang. Child and youth development, health, and livelihood programs were started. ANCOP USA was founded in November 2000.
2002: First Major Partner
Singles for Christ members build 16 GK homes in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental for the very first GK build activity. President Gloria Arroyo allocated P30 million for 1,000 GK homes.
2003: The Nation Responds
GK777, the vision of building 700,000 homes in 7,000 communities in 7 years was launched on October 4, 2003 at the first GK Expo in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Former President Corazon Aquino declared that “GK is People Power.”
2004: The Tipping Point
Fr. Bienvenido Nebres champions GK in Ateneo. Rival corporations and politicians embrace the vision of a slum-free Philippines. Filipino-Australian youth immerse in the Philippines through the GK YGAT. GK in Indonesia began with an education program for the youth in Jakarta.
2005: GK Becomes a Nation-Building Movement
GK partnered with the National Disaster Coordinating Council, Department of Social Welfare and Development and 200 LGUs to give care to typhoon victims. Through Kalinga Luzon and Kalinga Leyte, GK pioneered a template for rescue and rehabilitation of communities built by volunteers – GK Isang Milyong Bayani was born. The 1st GK Highway of Peace began and the first Muslim GK village was built in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao. The first GK house in Papua New Guinea was built at Gerehu Stage 6.
2006: Seeds of Sustainability
GK Bayan-anihan was started, seeking to restore productivity to the land and its people. GK Mabuhay began to renew Filipino culture on the ground while transforming GK communities into tourist destinations. GK received the Community Leadership award from Ramon Magsaysay Foundation, Asia’s Nobel Peace Prize. Canadian government poured financial support to fund more GK villages.
2007: GK Expands Overseas
Singapore President S.R. Nathan launched their feeding program on February 14 at GK Baseco, Tondo, Manila. GK Rafaella village in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is turned over to its local residents. British Minister of State Dr. Kim Howells visited GK Pinagsama and noted that the world was seeing a new renaissance of the Filipino.
2008: The Science and System Supports the GK Spirit
The Gawad Kalinga Builders Institute (GKBI), the think tank, training arm, and learning center was started. African nationals visited the Philippines with plans to adopt GK in South Africa. GK advocates Dylan Wilk and Nathan Mari along with their families drove 22,000 miles across America to spread the work of GK.
2009: Global Model for Poverty Alleviation
Gawad Kalinga launches GK2024, a 21-year vision which provides the roadmap towards a First World Philippines. The emerging Asian model for development is unveiled to the world at the first GK Global Summit in Boston.