ILOILO CITY, March 24 (PNA) — With more than 100,000 volunteers from 34 participating provinces, the five-day “Bayani Challenge” of Gawad Kalinga (GK) will challenge the impossible – transforms Philippines into a first class country.
This is according to GK Iloilo Provincial Head Maria Rosa Cacho in an interview during the kick-off ceremony of Bayani Challenge in New Lucena town Saturday.
“If we can build 37 communities in five days and if you multiply this by millions of us, we can make a first class Philippines in no time,” Cacho said.
What they can achieve throughout the challenge “is like a miniature of what can happen if all of us will move as one,” she added.
The Bayani Challenge in Iloilo is supported by over 3,000 volunteers from all walks of life including visiting tourists from England, France and some returning overseas Filipino workers from New York.
The Ilonggo volunteers will build 25 units of houses for informal settlers and repaint the chairs and other infrastructures of Wari-Wari Elementary School in New Lucena.
They will also plant fruit-bearing trees for sustainable food production and conduct puppet shows and storytelling to entertain the children in the town.
Amazing races and other sports activities will also be held to promote camaraderie among the volunteers.
There will also be a series of community health development sessions with speakers coming from Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, Cacho pointed out that GK is all about social preparation and not a mere socialized housing project for the poor.
It is required that the beneficiaries of GK houses have to undergo a series of values formation and seminar-workshops on how they can further enhance their well-being, she said.
“If you give houses to the informal settlers and you don’t teach them how to live in dignity, daw ara man sila guihapon sa squatter (it’s like they are still living in squatters),” she said.
GK has 14 villages in 11 sites in the province and city of Iloilo. Some of these GK villages can be found in Arevalo and Jaro districts in Iloilo City and in the towns of Pototan, Dingle, Concepcion, Janiuay and Ajuy. (PNA)