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Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc. (GK) is a Philippine-based movement that aims to end poverty for 5 million families, by first restoring the dignity of the poor.


Why GK, according to Focusing Philanthropy, a California-based group whose mission is to aid philanthropists in choosing credible and relevant NGOs as recipients:

"GK's core activities relate to long-term improvement in the housing and community building for and by very poor Filipinos who have historically lived in slums. They are an indigenous organization of Filipinos helping Filipinos. We like this perspective because we believe immediate emergency assistance is best when built on an established local network and when matched with a capacity to help rebuild long term."

"GK is increasingly active in responding to emergency situations through their established network of thousands of volunteers already on the ground in many communities. For example, GK had already activated its network and shown effectiveness in responding to the October 2013 Bohol earthquake, a serious calamity that shortly preceded the typhoon."

"Because the many GK communities were built in places and with materials designed to withstand typhoons and flooding, they survived the recent events better than most other areas. This permits these communities to serve as staging areas for relief with highly motivated, already-organized local volunteers."

"GK has been endorsed as an effective relief and rebuilding organization in the Philippines by the Skoll Foundation (with which Focusing Philanthropy has a close relationship) and the Center for High Impact Philanthropy of the University of Pennsylvania, among other credible organizations.”


The efforts of Gawad Kalinga residents, caretakers, volunteers and partners continue to be recognized by prestigious award-giving bodies in the Philippines and around the globe. We humbly accept these as testimony to the nobility, generosity and courage of the many who simply refuse to give up on the poor, and we intensify our commitment to build a better world by transforming slums into peaceful and productive communities, the GK Way.

* 2012 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship
* 2011 World Economic Forum

* 2011 Nikkei Asia Awards

* 2010 Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines
* 2010 Asia CEO Awards
* 2010 Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
* 2010 Reader’s Digest Asia Philippines’ Most Trusted
* 2009 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
* 2009 Hilton Humanitarian Award Finalist

* 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership
* 2006 Gawad Haydee Yorac Awardee
* 2006 The Outstanding Filipino Award (TOFIL) Awardee for Community Service
* 2006 Filipino of the Year (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
* 2003 Ateneo Ozanam Award

2012 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship

On March 29, 2012, Gawad Kalinga received the 2012 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and joined a growing network of 91 Skoll awardees – change agents who look at the world not for what it is but for what it could be.

“Gawad Kalinga brings new perspective to our growing portfolio of social entrepreneurs tackling poverty. With their deliberate focus on values formation and partnerships, Tony Meloto, Luis Oquiñena and their team have transformed large swathes of the Philippines. And they’ve successfully replicated the model in urban and rural environments, at half the cost of alternative interventions. We are delighted to welcome Gawad Kalinga to our Skoll community of social entrepreneurs.”

– Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation

The Skoll Foundation invests in, connects and celebrates social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. Since its founding by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jeff Skoll in 1999, it has given $270 million to support social entrepreneurs and their organizations in the areas of development and aid reform, deforestation, water and sanitation, economic and educational opportunity, healthcare access and treatment, sustainable markets, food security and post-conflict stabilization.


2011 World Economic Forum

Ending poverty is a global responsibility and the international community unites at the 20th anniversary of the World Economic Forum on East Asia held from June 12 to 13 in Jakarta, Indonesia under the theme “Responding to the New Globalism.” GK chairman and Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Philippines for 2010 Tony Meloto was one of the panelists in a plenary session on Inclusive Asia: Reinvigorating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He was invited to share on how the issue of poverty can be solved as one global family. The gathering was a meeting of the minds to search for new economic models to alleviate poverty in Asia.


2011 Nikkei Asia Awards

Nikkei Asia Awards recognized Tony Meloto in the category of regional growth for his commitment to improving the living conditions of the poor. He has made life better for residents in slum areas by constructing more than 200,000 homes in 2,000 communities in the Philippines and in other developing countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.

Launched by Nikkei Inc. in 1996, the awards program honors people in Asia who have made significant contributions in three areas: regional growth; science, technology and innovation; and culture.


2010 Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines

Tony Meloto was given the honor of being the 2010 Social Entrepreneur of the Year. This award is given to an individual who has created products and services that address the challenges faced by communities, help solve complex social problems, and benefit the marginalized and the poor. It is intended to celebrate the successful entrepreneur's individual efforts to bring about social change.


2010 Asia CEO Awards

Gawad Kalinga was named 2010 Non Profit Team Leadership of the Year by the Asia CEO Awards, which recognizes accomplishments that demonstrate Filipino management talent performing at the highest standards and recognized as internationally significant. This celebrates the bayanihan spirit of Team GK and sees its value in achieving measurable success in its operations.


2010 Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

The recognition of the Schwab Foundation for Tony Meloto as the Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2010) is not simply a matter of prestige but a powerful opportunity for the work of Gawad Kalinga to further be propelled in the global arena. The foundation opens doors at a regional and global level for the purpose of creating real impact for our world and with a deliberate objective of providing close collaboration with other stakeholders of the World Economic Forum. The criteria for selection are innovation, sustainability and direct social impact.


2010 Reader’s Digest Asia Philippines’ Most Trusted

GK founder Tony Meloto is the 4th Most Trustworthy Filipino in the Reader's Digest Asia Trust Poll published in March 2010. Readers Digest Asia conducted the nationwide survey asking people to rate 80 influential Filipino personalities on their trustworthiness. Meloto’s unselfish giving of himself and commitment to the work of uplifting the lives of the Filipino people has earned him the trust of the Filipino people.


2009 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

The APEC CEO Summit 2009 brought together more than 800 of the world’s top business leaders to Singapore to meet with the heads of the Pacific Rim’s most powerful nations. GK Founder Tony Meloto was invited to be one of the speakers in the two-day summit at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Center on November 12 to 14. Meloto’s talk showcased Gawad Kalinga as a global model of social development consistent with the UN Millennium Development Goals that seeks to reduce poverty by half by 2015.


2009 Hilton Humanitarian Award Finalist

Gawad Kalinga was nominated in 2009 to receive the prestigious Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Award, given annually to a charitable or non-governmental organization that has made extraordinary contributions towards alleviating human suffering anywhere in the world. It is the world’s largest humanitarian award. Every year, approximately 200 organizations worldwide are nominated. Gawad Kalinga was among the 13 finalists in 2009.


2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership

In 2006, Gawad Kalinga and its founder, Antonio P. Meloto, received the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s version of the Nobel Peace Prize. The award honors GK’s greatness of spirit and Meloto’s transformative leadership in the Philippines. We continue to be challenged to make a difference in the Asian region and in the world.

“In electing the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation and its family of donors, volunteers and beneficiaries to receive the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, the board of trustees recognizes their harnessing the faith and generosity of Filipinos the world over to confront poverty in their homeland and to provide every Filipino the dignity of a decent home and neighborhood; and in electing Antonio Meloto to receive the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, the board of trustees recognizes his inspiring Filipinos to believe with pride that theirs can be a nation without slums.”

– Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (Read the full citation HERE)


2006 Gawad Haydee Yorac Awardee

Started in 2006 by MERALCO, in cooperation with the University of the Philippines, the award recognizes leaders from the private sector, government service and volunteer organizations whose attributes, personal work ethics and service to the nation are worth emulating. GK’s Tony Meloto became the first Gawad Haydee Yorac Awardee.

“Through Gawad Kalinga, Meloto was able to inspire other Filipinos to rise up and work to eradicate poverty through a pioneering movement of volunteerism.”

– Gawad Haydee Yorac


2006 The Outstanding Filipino Award (TOFIL) Awardee for Community Service

The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award is a project of the Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd. and the Philippine Jaycees Senate chapter. It was conceived in 1988 to institutionalize public recognition of men and women, 41 years of age and over, whose exemplary achievements are worthy of emulation. In 2006, TOFIL recognized the work of GK founder Tony Meloto.

 “It would take a seemingly ordinary man to start a revolution, where people would again become heroes, this time, as they build homes and lives for the poorest of the poor. This man is Gawad Kalinga’s Executive Director, Antonio P. Meloto, Jr., 2006 TOFIL Awardee for Humanitarian Service.”

– TOFIL Award (Read the full citation HERE)


2006 Filipino of the Year (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The Inquirer’s Filipino of the Year honors a living Filipino who has made the most impact on the life of the nation over the past year. GK’s Tony Meloto was voted in by the editors and assistant editors of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the country’s highly respected broadsheet. Read the article that made it to the front page headline HERE.


2003 Ateneo Ozanam Award

The Ozanam Award was founded by the Ateneo de Manila University in 1937 to honor Christians who have given distinctive and continued service to their fellowmen in accordance with the principles of Justice and Charity. In 2003, Antonio P. Meloto was conferred the Ozanam Award in recognition of his boundless energy and extreme focus on the work with the poor, through his brainchild, Gawad Kalinga, a comprehensive and integrated approach to community development.


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