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If each of us takes part in caring and sharing, the overwhelming challenge of poverty can be addressed. Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.

Kaisa Foundation, China Soong Ching Ling Foundation and Philippine Soong Ching Ling Foundation: A Spark of Hope for Typhoon Pablo Survivors

by Joyce Uy

When Typhoon Pablo struck last December 2012, it caused severe damage to infrastructure as well as trauma to the survivors, especially the children. Hundreds of families in Davao Oriental were largely affected by the storm that left them homeless and hungry. Despite this terrible tragedy, a number of our Gawad Kalinga partners responded to the call of heroism and bayanihan.

Read more about the Kaisa-GK partnership HERE

On January 29, 2013, a delegation from China that included China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (CSCLF) Secretary General Li Ning arrived at the Kaisa Heritage Center in Intramuros to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Gawad Kalinga. This MOA for 40 homes to be built in Cateel, Davao Oriental was matched by CSCLF’s Philippine counterpart, the Philippine Soong Ching Ling Foundation (PSCLF). PSCLF is headed by successful Filipino-Chinese business tycoons like Honorary Chairman Lucio Tan, President Carlos Chan and Vice President Alfonso Uygonco, who signed the MOA for the other 40 homes. Their combined donation was coursed through Kaisa Para sa Kaunlaran, Inc., an early Gawad Kalinga partner that true to its name, has been connecting GK to its own wide network of partners through the years.

December 2, 2014: Turnover Ceremony at Mati City, Davao Oriental for 35 families

2 years after Typhoon Pablo struck, the agreement between GK, CSCLF, PSCLF, and Kaisa has finally materialized. Last Dec 2 and 3, 2014, 70 homes have been turned over to 35 families in Mati City, Davao Oriental and 35 families in Cateel, Davao Oriental. The two-day ceremonial turnovers were attended by its respective LGUs, Mayor Carlos P. Rabat of Mati City, Mayor Camilo Nuñez and Governor Cora Malanyaon of Catee, our partners from Kaisa Para sa Kaunlaran Inc. represented by Mr. Ganny Tan and Philippine Soong Ching Ling Foundation represented by Mr. Jeffrey Cano and of course our GK Provincial team represented by Edwin Barrera. It has truly been a long journey for all of us as a lot of challenges and delays have been encountered with this project. In spite of these problems, no one ever let go of their commitment to help the Typhoon Pablo survivors. The true spirit of Bayanihan and Walang Iwanan were portrayed in this endeavor.

December 3, 2014: Turnover Ceremony at Cateel, Davao Oriental for 35 families

Both events signified a spark of hope this Christmas as the community presented Kaisa Foundation Inc. and Philippine Soong Ching Ling Foundation a parol that they made themselves. This is truly a Parol ng Pag-asa which symbolizes how our partners’ spirit of Bayanihan and Walang Iwanan gave hope to our kapitbahayans because they chose to care and build this nation.

Both KB Presidents present their Parols from the community to the representatives of Kaisa Foundation, Mr. Ganny Tan and Philippine Soong Ching Ling Foundation, Mr. Jeffrey Cano

Gawad Kalinga is not a charity, rather, it's an organization that aims to end poverty by building empowered and productive communities. This would not be possible without the partners who have journeyed with us in changing the lives of others. Like Kaisa Foundation, China Soong Ching Ling Foundation and Philippine Soong Ching Ling Foundation, you too can be a hero to the poorest of the poor and partner with us in making sure that no one is left behind. Walang Iwanan!

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