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CapitaLand, The Ascott Limited, and Gawad Kalinga Build Hope Anew
By: Fatsen Amano

CapitaLand-Ascott GK Eco Village in Batangas will soon be home to 20 Filipino families. The Filipino family is known for the kind of home it can build, even those of houses built out of shanty materials. The Filipino home is a home of love; one that can resist the most damaging of catastrophes and can withstand through the many social problems in the country.

Hundred volunteers from CapitaLand and The Ascott Limited conducted house build for 20 Filipino families in GK Eco Village.

In the latest joint project of CapitaLand, The Ascott Limited and Gawad Kalinga conducted on May 13-16, 2017, tagged as “International Volunteer Expedition,” the beneficiaries were given the opportunity and space to create their own home. One hundred volunteers hailing from various countries who wish to gain a better understanding of the issues of the country’s poor joined activities and programs held in service of the people. The joint partnership enabled the execution of five workshops: (1) House Building, (2) Paraisong Pambata Arts and Crafts poster making contest, (3) mural painting in SIBOL School, (4) environmental workshop and tree planting, and (5) community design workshops, which is a social research spearheaded by a group of Architecture students from the National University of Singapore.

To improve the sustainability of the community, the NUS students conducted various workshops where the beneficiaries gained the necessary knowledge and basic tools for building better living spaces for the families and the children, thereby, creating a more progressive community.

In a globalizing world where everything and everyone is easily connected, information and experiences can be painted in differing and often clashing points of views. The issues of poverty of third world countries are ubiquitous, but the interaction between people all over the world is just not enough. The recently concluded partnership of CapitaLand, The Ascott Limited, and Gawad Kalinga, paved way for people to meet and learn from each other in a personal and physically interactive level. Children were able to discover and harness their creative juices through the poster making competition. Students from prestigious universities outside the country were able to apply their academic knowledge in the building of a better community. And it is with the passion for service that the youth displays in such conditions that initiatives such as this maintain its presence. Tan Seng Chai, Group Chief Corporate Officer, CapitaLand Limited and Executive Director, CapitaLand Hope Foundation, affirmed this idea when he said, “Seeing people with strong passion to end poverty is what drives us.” The building of communities starts with trust and safety, and only projects that initiate such a level of participation and interaction from people can jumpstart such necessary values. Not only did it provide homes for Filipino families, the project also promoted support and accommodation of health care and sustainable education in the area. The kind of community the partnership tried to foster makes the ground fertile for everyone to participate and actively play in the roles given by the community.

Tan Seng Chai, CEO of CapitaLand, leads the tree planting activity. The trees symbolize the continuing and growing partnership of CapitaLand, The Ascott Limited, and Gawad Kalinga in ending poverty for 5 million Filipino families.

In sustainability lies the creation of an environment instrumental for learning— to provide better hope for the children, the people who will continue the progress of their communities. In GK, we always say “Walang Iwanan!” (Leaving No One Behind). After CapitaLand built their first village in Parañaque, they continued to support other GK communities by volunteering, doing activities for youth empowerment, and donating school supplies. In fact, it is the third year that The Ascott Limited has been raising funds for Kusina ng Kalinga. (The Ascott Limited is a company under CapitaLand) Maraming Salamat, CapitaLand and The Ascott Limited!

CapitaLand, The Ascott Limited, and Gawad Kalinga execs commit to a relentless passion to promote and build a space for the Filipino families and children.

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