The landless poor constantly fall victim to natural disasters because they are forced to squat in danger zones, where they are exposed to storm surges, landslides and floods. Natural disasters often cause massive destruction, leaving a trail of damaged property, lost lives and displaced families. Every time disasters occur, Gawad Kalinga volunteers and partners respond heroically by sharing resources, organizing relief drives, helping network to others, and even taking part in reconstruction efforts.
More than just relief, Gawad Kalinga believes that these poor families living in danger areas must be rescued and transferred to safe locations where they can build sustainable communities. Even before the disasters strike, we need to proactively build communities that are safe from natural calamities. Gawad Kalinga’s rescue strategy includes:
Providing Secured Land
Aside from security of tenure, the area in which the community will be built has to be safe from natural disasters. Proper legal and environment clearances must be secured for all sites.
Building an Empowered Community
A good way to mitigate the effects of natural disasters is to have an organized and empowered community, where the residents help each other and share common values. GK seeks to equip residents with the right values and leadership skills so that when disasters strike, they are empowered to respond and care for their community.
Raising a Caring Community
Gawad Kalinga communities located in safe areas have become incidental “evacuation centers” for neighboring communities that are affected by natural disasters. Because of this, GK residents have to be trained and equipped to give care to evacuees.