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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.

Aurora GK Village Rises in Leyte

by Vangie Sesma

One year after Haiyan, Aurora GK Village stands tall as a safe haven for 38 families who survived the supertyphoon

Thanks to the generosity of David & Araceli Barclay, 38 families who survived Typhoon Haiyan have finally moved into their new homes last December 2, 2014, during a turnover ceremony held at the Aurora GK Village, Brgy. Crossing, San Isidro, Leyte, Philippines. The village is named after Araceli’s mother, Aurora. Aurora means dawn, which is what this new village is for the residents.

>> Read more in Aurora GK Village: A Mother’s Legacy

The groundbreaking and construction of these 38 homes began last May 21, 2014, in time for our Bayani Challenge activity, where volunteers coming from different barangays of San Isidro (Leyte) joined the building activity with the future beneficiaries.

The turnover last December 2 was actually the second move-in activity, because the first batch of 22 families already moved in earlier, last November 8. All the families used to be residents of different coastal barangays in San Isidro. The move from their old homes to their new homes as soon as the homes were completed was really necessary, considering that the coastal area where they used to live is unsafe and very susceptible to high tidal waves.

The families are now on safer ground, far from the tidal waves and unpredictability of nature

The move-in ceremony was attended by San Isidro Mayor Susan Ang, her husband Mr. Alan Ang (Board Member of San Isidro), other members of the local government unit (LGU), Team GK Leyte and of course the new homeowners.


Hon. Susan Ang, Mayor of San Isidro, Leyte, and Mr. Alan Ang, Board Member of San Isidro, Leyte

You can see in the faces of the beneficiaries the joy that they feel during this event,
because now they have a house that they can call their own.

The turnover ceremony was started with a mass, followed by the awarding of homes. One of the highlights was when any beneficiary family jumps and shouts with joy as they finally get and receive their home address. In their sharing, they shared how overwhelmingly happy they are that they already have a safe home and that it is all real and not just a dream.

Awarding of houses

Blessing of houses

Paraisong Pambata activities for the children also happened during the turnover of houses

A“Salo-salo” after the turnover ceremony

Gawad Kalinga’s Haiyan Reconstruction Efforts would not be possible without the generous partners and volunteers – young and old, rich and poor, popular and seemingly ordinary – who have stepped up to become heroes for our brothers and sisters in need.

Many villages across the Visayas (like the Aurora GK Village in San Isidro, Leyte) have been turned over to the residents because of the bayanihan of these volunteers, the typhoon survivors, the local government, and partners like David & Araceli Barclay.

But the work is far from over, and there are thousands more who need to be relocated to safe communities like this one. Find out how you can help #endpoverty today.

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