by Mark Anthony L. Cabrera
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi
Volunteers build homes through Bayanihan
It was a scorching hot Sunday morning on July 15, 2012 when around 140 volunteers showed up for Gawad Kalinga (GK) Quezon City’s (QC) Family Day Build at the brightly colored community of GK NTC Pinag-isang Palad Village in Commonwealth. Hosted and organized by GK QC’s Caroline Payot and Roxanne Ibasco, volunteers from Standard Chartered Bank, Alpha Phi Omega Rizal Chapter, Fusion Essence of Front Row, Dell, Miriam College, University of Sto Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University, and the University of the Philippines came with the burning passion to serve the community and do their parts in sparking change.
It was my first time to volunteer in a GK event and I really enjoyed the experience as much as the other volunteers. We started the day with a prayer and we danced to energize us for the busy day ahead. We were divided into several groups. In the spirit of Bayanihan, some were tasked to form a human chain and pass the hollow blocks from one point to another. Others painted houses and dug holes on the ground. A group volunteered for the Paraisong Pambata program and told stories, distributed goodies, and held games for the children of the community.
>>> Learn more about Gawad Kalinga's Child and Youth Development Program
A boodle fight was lovingly prepared by the community and they warmly welcomed us during lunch time. Rice and various delicious viands were served in banana leaves stretched out in connecting tables. How cool is that? The great part was that we had to use our bare hands to eat. The food was great and in my heart I knew that everyone enjoyed the hefty delicious meal. A few minutes after our meal, we had the time to process and share our experiences during the event.
The Family Day Build in GK NTC
The scorching hot weather was matched with the burning passion of the volunteers. The passion to serve was very much alive and it sent out a strong message to the world. Working towards one common goal of building homes and bringing smiles to the faces of the children, the GK QC team headed by Justine Cruz did the unthinkable. And even after a hard day’s work, the radiant smiles of the residents were more than enough for us to understand that they appreciate our effort, and we left the community knowing that we did our share, no matter how small, in changing this world.
What I realized that day was that we make life truly worthwhile if we are truly passionate in what we do. More importantly, the Spirit of the Bayanihan lives in each one of us. That day, 140 volunteers from various organizations and schools became one in doing their part to end poverty for the Philippines. It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you come from, but for as long as there are people who have the heart and dedication to serve, the talent and the devotion to inspire other people, then a prosperous Philippines is definitely a heartbeat away. As the saying goes, "we can achieve all the things we want to achieve if we put our hearts into it."
If you want to change the world, it has to start within you. If you believe that you have the burning passion to serve other people and help the needy, it’s time for you to join Gawad Kalinga and support the worthy cause that we are fighting for. We need you. You can make a difference in the lives of the millions of Filipinos who are dreaming of a prosperous life. That’s what Gawad Kalinga is all about. Building communities, Building strong relationships. Let the journey to end poverty begin now and let it begin with YOU.
* Photos by Tracy Cruz
Gawad Kalinga is not a charity, rather, it's an organization that aims to end poverty by building sustainable communities. Build activities continuously happen all around the country as a concrete response to ending poverty in the Philippines. Like these volunteers, you too can burn with the passion to serve our country and be part of our global army of nation-builders! Email email@example.com to volunteer in the place nearest you!