month I am sharing with you the great miracle that is unfolding
in the Philippines even as you are reading this - it’s the
miracle of GK777. For those of you who have not kept up with news
at home, you may ask what is GK777? I’m sure you know about
People Power I & II. Well, GK777 is a kind of people power except
that instead of being an upswell to change a corrupt administration,
it is driven by the Filipino’s inherent love for country and
love of his fellowman.
was started by Couples for Christ in October 2003 to lift the Philippines
out of the third world by building 700,000 homes for the poor, in
7,000 communities in 7 years. GK stands for “Gawad Kalinga”
which is a Tagalog term meaning “to give care”. GK777
gets its funding through resources generated by ANCOP Foundation
International, a nonprofit organization. ANCOP is the acronym for
Answering the Cry Of the Poor.
but daring initiative
GK itself started in 1995 in the Philippines as a simple but daring
initiative by Couples for Christ to help uplift the living conditions
of some poor families. The approach of GK is to build a holistic
community development model that would transform slum communities
into clean, beautiful, peaceful communities and give back human
dignity to the poor.
This model will be the basis for replication in other parts of the
Philippines and other third world countries where GK would also
be introduced. Some GK work has already began in other countries,
like East Timor, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, whereas other countries
like Trinidad and St. Lucia have signified that they plan to start
their own GK models soon.
GK experience has showed that simply by transforming the home and
environment into a clean, dry and hygienic place, health problems
in the former slum areas disappear and the poor are transformed
into productive and self-sufficient citizens. With hope of a better
life for themselves and their children, residents in the GK communities
that had been troublemakers as slum dwellers become responsible
citizens and after only a few months, there is already zero crime
within the GK community!
As the GK work was developing and producing great results, it became
obvious to the GK leadership that the Holy Spirit was showing the
way to expand GK and to give it more impact and visibility. Thus
GK777 was born.
Very quickly, it has become a multi-sectoral partnership
between CFC, the government, the private sector, the military, academia,
the church, and others in the Philippines, all sharing a common
vision of a new Philippines with no more slums. More importantly,
GK777 has caught the attention of the Filipino diaspora, meaning
all of us outside our home country, to recognize the great opportunity
to make GK777 a reality and so now Filipinos outside the Philippines
play a major role in this partnership.
development model consists of 5 components: Shelter, Health, Education,
Livelihood, and Community Empower-ment. Each GK village is composed
of 30 to 100 families considered poorest of the poor. Through the
selfless work of volunteers (who work on-site for 3-5 years) and
the poor themselves, the goal of transforming unsuitable living
conditions and defeatist attitudes into self-sufficient communities
is being achieved
through the Filipino spirit of bayanihan i.e., becoming a hero to
one another. GK is truly a People Power Movement endorsed by none
other than former president Corazon Aquino, Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
the United Nations, and several multi-sectoral partners all over
the world. In the Philippines private sector, McDonald’s,
SMART, Ateneo de Manila, UST, and the Catholic Church have already
sponsored and built their own GK villages.
does this affect me?
I live in the USA, how does this affect me?
Wherever we go as Filipinos, we will always carry with us some of
the stigma of coming from a third world country as long as the poor
in the Philippines continue to live in well-publicized squalid conditions.
Our children do not deserve a heritage of garbage,
corruption and poverty. GK777 provides all Filipinos the opportunity
to be heroes by responding to this challenge to once and for all
extricate the Philippines from third world conditions. Together
we can show the rest of the world how a nation can be rebuilt by
the collective caring and loving of its people.
ANCOP Foundation USA was created to allow individuals
or organizations in the US to become partners in rebuilding the
lives and restoring dignity to the poorest of the poor in the Philippines.
This is a chance for us to show other countries that a nation and
its people, no matter how scattered, can unite in the spirit of
heroism and patriotism to the great calling of nation
of today, Gawad Kalinga-ANCOP USA volunteers have already built
roughly 7,000 homes in 300 communities from Luzon to the southern
tip of Mindanao. Many Filipino organizations here in the US have
already given to GK777 and even built enough homes and facilities
such that the village they
built is named after their organization. CFC, who is spearheading
this movement, has the infrastructure and the manpower to execute
plans anywhere in the Philippines because of our more than 1 million
members there and the dedication of our volunteers and the support
of our partners.
The spirit of bayanihan is inherent in the Filipino, but over the
years and even centuries, it has just remained dormant in the hearts
of the Filipino people because we have given in to the circumstances
and hopelessness of our country’s situation. Now through GK,
we are restoring the spirit of bayanihan in the Filipino so that
we can be heroes to each other.
Opportunities to Participate in this Miracle and be a Hero, too
NaFFAA or National Federation of Filipino American Associations
will hold a conference-workshop at the Radisson Hotel in Rosemont
on Sept 10-12, 2004. ANCOP/GK will be one of the main workshop presentors
at the Radisson.
the NaFFAA gala night which will switch to Hyatt Regency O’Hare
on Sept 11, ANCOP/GK will again have a short presentation so that
all in attendance will have awareness of this great opportunity
for all Filipinos to come together for this noble cause of nation
building. Main presentors for ANCOP/GK will be Tony Meleto and Dylan
Wilk, directors of ANCOP/GK based in Manila. For more information
on NaFFAA and tickets, contact Tony Amante at 630-885-9458.
GK Forum for Heroes - On Sept 12 from 5:30-8:30pm, ANCOP/GK will
again have a presentation of GK777 this time to the general public
for the purpose of spreading awareness in the Filipino community
about this great opportunity for all Filipinos to come together
for this noble cause of nation building. This event will be held
at the Prairie Community Center at 6834 W. Dempster in Morton Grove
and is free of charge. Friends of ANCOP/GK will be recognized and
“deputized” in a simple ceremony. For more information,
call Gerry Balbin at 847-383-4745.
WOW-GK is a roadshow to be held on October 10 at the Hyatt Regency
Hotel, O’Hare. Besides the ANCOP/GK presentation, there will
be dinner, entertainment and dancing. A Mercedes Benz E320 will
be raffled at $100 a chance with only 777 tickets to be sold. Proceeds
will be for the benefit of GK777. For information and tickets, contact
Margie/George Boerema at 630-985-0092 or Sally/Esok Adraneda at
SO, WHERE DO WE STAND, FELLOW FILIPINOS, IN THIS CALL FOR US TO
REBUILD OUR MOTHERLAND?
There are many ways in which we can participate. How you may ask?
The first step is basically just to jump in the bandwagon, as this
truly has become a bandwagon that is already taking off at great
speed. This great miracle will COME TO PASS regardless of whether
we participate or not because it is God’s work. Certainly,
we don’t want to be left behind.
why the slogan of GK777 is rightfully so: “KASALI KAMI D’YAN!”