Sign IN >>
Ending poverty is a journey with many routes. Find new and exciting ways to get involved and make a difference in the lives of others today.

GK Enchanted Farm hosts Microsoft Hour of Code in the Philippines

by Issa Cuevas-Santos

Microsoft and Gawad Kalinga have been strategic partners for years, pursuing their passion for technology and the youth. Last year, both organizations organized Innovate4Good, a Microsoft YouthSpark program aimed to inspire, engage and enable young social entrepreneurs to use technology to help scale their impact in their local communities.

>> Read more in "Building a Better World Together: Microsoft and GK Host “Innovate for Good” in the Philippines"


This year, Microsoft and GK again embarked on a more ambitious project – what if we could teach every child to code? Yes, you read it right – EVERY CHILD CAN CODE! And to test this hypothesis, we brought technology to a place you would least likely expect – the GK Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan! No, this wasn’t your usual air-conditioned venue in urban Manila. The GK Enchanted Farm is Gawad Kalinga’s Farm Village University, a platform to raise social entrepreneurs, help local farmers and create sustainable wealth in the countryside.


The participants included some of the best young minds in Bulacan. The morning session included 25 high school kids from the mentorship program targeted towards the top 5 students of the nearby public schools. The afternoon session brought in a different kind of energy, with 25 kids mostly in the grade school level who were children of farmers and part of GK’s Agricool program – a learn and earn program to help ensure that kids are motivated to stay in school but also learn basic farming skills and encourage them to go into agriculture as a future lucrative career.


We announced that the sessions would start at 9 AM and 2 PM, respectively, but the participants arrived early and were all too eager to begin. And as soon as Joben Rara, our passionate Microsoft facilitator started the learning session, we witnessed the genius of the poor unfold.

Microsoft facilitator Joben Rara helps bring out the genius of the poor

Many were a little shy and wary at first, with some holding a mouse and keyboard for the first time. But as time elapsed and everyone began to get the hang of things, we began to see faces light up as they accomplished task after task, and little jumps of joy and shouts of accomplishment as some advanced and finished even ahead of the allotted time.

One of the first pairs to finish were Julius Tatel (12) and Junior Damolo (10), both children of farmers and residents of the GK village. We caught them doing a high five as they got their Certificate of Completion ahead of others, and eagerly encouraged others and even taught seatmates how to move forward when they were getting stuck with some of the challenges.

Gawad Kalinga's Tony Meloto and Microsoft's Raul Cortez  talk about exciting things ahead for GK and Microsoft,

working together to revolutionize education in rural areas


GK’s Tony Meloto and Microsoft’s Raul Cortez were also there to encourage the participants to dream big for the country and not be afraid to challenge their limits and reach their highest potential. Their words came to life as each of the participants found their courage to try something new and discovered that ALL of us, young and old, rich and poor, can bring our ideas to life through technology and coding.

And as the sessions came to a close, it was heartwarming to see the bright smiles, and the endless words of gratitude, but we were also challenged when they said, “Sana po maulit” (I hope we do this again) and “Sana po hindi na ito ang huli” (I hope this won’t be the last time). We take those words to heart as these two organizations continue to work together to make sure that we reach every child with technology, so that truly, no one will be left behind.


Gawad Kalinga is not a charity, rather, it's an organization that aims to end poverty by building sustainable communities. This would not be possible without the partners who have journeyed with us in transforming the lives of others. Like Microsoft, you too can help the poorest of the poor and partner with us in dreaming for the country and inspiring the youth and many others to dream with us. For more information, visit this link.

Who we are | FAQs | Archive | Contact Us
Copyright 2014 GK1WORLD All rights reserved | designed by Gawad Kalinga Marketing Team