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Partners Gather for the 1st GK Advocacy Congress

Last September 11, 2014 at Aracama Filipino Cuisine, Bonifacio Global City, Gawad Kalinga partners and advocates gathered for the 1st GK Advocacy Congress. GK will be holding the AdCongress every quarter to celebrate inspiration, connect innovation and create impact amongst partners and friends in mission.



Celebrating Inspiration

The program was mostly centered on recent updates about the work, and this was an opportunity for Gawad Kalinga to share where we are today in our Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) Reconstruction efforts. Thanks to the many Yolanda partners who helped us rebuild immediately, we are now halfway through the Y1 target with 3,014 houses funded.

One of the many partners who responded to the urgent call of Yolanda survivors is Thomson Reuters. Ms. Marla Alvarez, Program Manager for Site Strategy, Communications and Corporate Responsibility, shared their journey: from giving up Christmas party funds to build a village in New Washington (Aklan) and sending 30 employees to help build that village during the Bayani Challenge to shooting a documentary that captures the story of the community.

>> Read more about the Thomson Reuters GK Village


This is only one example of how the employees themselves can be involved in the work of ending poverty, and how beyond building communities, partners can help spread the GK advocacy and inspiration in other ways. After all, the goal of 6,000 houses for the first year of Yolanda reconstruction (and beyond that, the goal of ending poverty for 5M families by 2024) could only be achieved by inspiring and engaging more individuals and institutions to join us in this work.



Connecting Innovation

On top of celebrating recent milestones, the AdCongress gathered GK partners and friends for the purpose of building relationships and connecting expertise to further the advocacy. Coming from different sectors, our partners and friends bring in with them diverse ideas, capabilities, networks, resources, and strengths, which hopefully translates to more solutions and possible collaborations, not just with GK, but amongst themselves as well.

Another partner-sharer for the afternoon is PCWorx’s Managing Director, Mr. Michael Chua. After a brief sharing of their company’s journey with GK, he excitedly talked about their plans, and invited interested fellow advocates to tie-up with them for an upcoming event, All-In Charity Basketball Game featuring NBA star Allen Iverson.

>> Read more about PC Worx’ All-In Charity Basketball Game Event


Serving as a venue for this kind of exchanges, GK AdCongress aims to spark innovation and influence synergies that will help us reach the scale and impact we are aspiring for.

 



Creating Impact

Beyond inspiration and connection, it was also important to make sure that the partners understood how important the next 10 years will be.

“One of the reasons why we are doing this is that we are looking at the next 10 years, and we know that this is very critical for us and we need all the help we can get if we want to achieve our mission to end poverty.” – Luis Oquinena, GK Executive Director

The challenge of the next 10 years is how to involve critical partners, scale up the work, and end poverty for 5 million families. In the next 10 years, GK hopes to bring the culture of bayanihan and “walang iwanan” to the level of the barangay, in order to create a massive platform for sustainable transformation and meaningful impact.

This is when Brgy. Walang Iwanan was introduced, with PIA Director General Mari Oquinena inviting the partners for next year’s Bayani Challenge. During Bayani Challenge 2014, over 1.75 million volunteers from various backgrounds became heroes for Filipinos in the disaster-hit provinces of the Visayas, Palawan, and Zamboanga. Next year, the goal is to reach 20,000 barangays.

“The big idea is not doing good, the big idea is doing something good together.” – Mari Oquinena, PIA Director General



All in all, it was an afternoon of casual yet meaningful conversations, filled with fun and camaraderie as we celebrated our being one in our mission of ending poverty.




***

We would like to thank Aracama for hosting our 1st Advocacy Congress and for the sumptuous food that they served, which everyone enjoyed. We would also like to thank the following partners for being part of the 1st GK Advocacy Congress:

Accenture, Asian Development Bank, Australian Embassy, Berjaya Philippines Foundation, Bloom Foundation, Etrade Information Services, Federal Land, Gandang Kalikasan (Human Nature), HARI Foundation, Hyundai, Isla Lipana & Co., Kambi, LBC Foundation, Manulife Philippines, Microsoft Philippines, Monsanto Philippines, Nestle Philippines, Nidec Motor Philippines Corporation, NYK-TDG Friendship Foundation, PCWorx, RTL, S Point Products, SAFFY, Shakey’s Pizza, Solar Entertainment Corporation, TELUS International Philippines, The Gentle Warriors, Thomson Reuters, UBER Philippines, Unilab, VXI Global, Wyeth Philippines


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