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Born within the poorest communities of Manila, Gawad Kalinga is a non-government organization in the Philippines whose name means « to give care » in Filipino. GK is distinguished by its innovative approach in responding to the problem of extreme poverty. Its model is based on the principle of empowerment and restoration of dignity through an active and sustainable support program.


Gawad Kalinga or GK has transformed large slums into peaceful and productive villages, thanks to the efforts of philanthropists and partners from all sectors of society: private enterprises, government institutions, religious organizations,civil society, NGOs, military and the international community.

Since 2003, Gawad Kalinga has constructed more than 2,300 villages, with more than one million Filipinos relocated and provided with decent homes. Typically consisting of 30 to 50 houses, GK villages benefit from supporting infrastructures designed to revitalize social life and provide employment. This national movement made it possible to improve the standard of living of the beneficiaries as well as improve the perception of partners and volunteers on poverty.

An innovative model

The success of Gawad Kalinga is so much so that the model has been replicated in different countries across Southeast Asia: in Indonesia, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea. It has become a concrete solution to reduce social inequality between the rich and the poor. Strong mutual support brings out the best in everyone, creating concrete opportunities to serve the community.

This outcome is possible thanks to the combined effort of millions of volunteers around the world. Gawad Kalinga draws its strength from its strong belief and hope that the world can change for the better by caring for and sharing with others. This force has seen all social strata in Philippine society come together and unite to provide the most deprived communities with the ability to take their future into their own hands.

Three phases

The development program of Gawad Kalinga is divided into three phases of 7 years with the objective of ending poverty for 5 million families by 2024.

The first phase which began in 2003 focuses on restoration of dignity of the marginalized. This is concretized by the creation of Gawad Kalinga communities (villages)  across the Philippine archipelago. This work is still ongoing.

The second phase was born in the region of Bulacan, north of Manila, with the creation of the social business incubator Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm which is to be replicated in 25 regions in the Philippines. Its objective is to create an enabling environment for the creation of enterprises and formation of future entrepreneurs.

The third phase will begin in 2017 with the mission of scaling up the small enterprises being developed by the incubator.

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