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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.


[Date Created: January 16, 2014]

by Butch Ozarraga

On the face of student and employee identification cards (IDs) for the school year 2013-14,
on the massive tarpaulin boards that are placed in strategic areas in the city,
on the 2014 calendar that the university is giving away, and on many other information and education materials,
the words
“We are URIANS we build GK houses”
as well as the logo of Gawad Kalinga are prominently printed beside the university logo.

Father Saturnino Urios University or FSUU is the most actively-involved partner of Gawad Kalinga in Butuan City and the entire Caraga Region. The involvement of FSUU in GK started in 2003 through its community extension service programs when it adopted the GK Balangayan Butuan in Brgy. Pagatpatan as a partner community. They started collaborating with the GK community in the areas of health, education and livelihood development. 

On August 23, 2008, the memorandum of agreement for the GK partnership was signed. The following month, during the celebration of the foundation of the university, the FSUU community together with local partners gathered at Brgy. Mahay, Butuan City for the groundbreaking ceremony of the URIOS LEGACY VILLAGE. Since then, the house build in GK Mahay has become a permanent activity during the annual alumni reunion in the month of May and the university days in September.

While the agreement specified the terms of the partnership between FSUU and GK, it was the shared vision for a better Philippines, the trust and respect for each other, and the desire to do beyond what is expected from each that guided and continues to guide and inspire the partnership. This was clearly manifested during Butuan GK Builders Forum, where funds for almost 100 houses were raised. This was also seen when FSUU was the “Walang Iwanan” operations center during the relief efforts for the victims of 2011 flood in Butuan City; Typhoons Sendong, Pablo and Yolanda; and the earthquake in Bohol.


FSUU is a GK Builders Institute. FSUU integrates nation building in all its programs and activities. It is one of the main university-partners in the GK community impact assessment study (CIAS). It is a center for social innovation, which plays a key role in the social entrepreneurship movement in Butuan City by integrating social entrepreneurship in both the undergraduate and graduate programs; it is also a major collaborator in the development of the Butuan City GK Enchanted Farm project. The university was the technical host during the 2010 Schools in Nation Building Conference which was held at the Ateneo de Manila University and the conference host of the 2011 Highway of Peace (HOPE) Caravan and Conference. It was also the home of the GK Northeastern Mindanao team since 2009 until mid-2013 when the university had to demolish the building which housed GK office to prepare for the construction of new structures. However, the university continues to host GK meetings.


The partnership between Gawad Kalinga and Father Saturnino Urios University is a shining model of what is truly, “Walang Iwanan.”


Gawad Kalinga is not a charity, rather, it's a nation-building movement dedicated to eradicate poverty and restore human dignity. Like FSUU, you too can partner with us in ending poverty. Click here to find out how.

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