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If each of us takes part in caring and sharing, the overwhelming challenge of poverty can be addressed. Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.

Shell Builds 20 Homes in Cabiao
by Alaine Figueras

April 20, 2016, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija -- Pilipinas Shell Foundation and GK, in partnership with the Municipality of Cabiao, will be building 20 homes in the Kalikasan Village, an ecotourism project initiated by the municipality.  On this day, commitments were made not only to build houses for 20 farming families but also to be part of their journey out of poverty.  A group of 17 employees from Shell, including leaders from both the Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC) and the Pilipinas Shell Foundation (PSF) graced the MOA Signing and Groundbreaking Ceremony that opened Bayani Challenge 2016 in the area.

L-R: Ramon Del Rosario, VP for Externa l& Govt Relations, PSPC; Edgar Veron Cruz, Exec. Dir., PSFI; Mayor Baby Congco, Municipality of Cabiao; Jon Ramos,  Area Coordinator, GK; & Lito Saturnino, Project Director, GK. The Kapitbahayans were also present to witness the ceremony.

The Kalikasan Village is a project of the Municipality of Cabiao under the leadership of Mayor Baby Congco, a long-standing champion of GK.  This will be the fourth GK village in this municipality. The 2.3 hectare land was bought by the local government with a 5-year development plan, envisioning an ecotourism community that cares for and nurtures the environment.  Definitely a unique one among the rest, it’s a mix of nature, residential, and commercial space. Within the area is Nabao Lake where visitors could fish or ride a mini boat. There will also be a Bed and Breakfast space to accommodate tourists who wish to stay overnight.

The celebration also coincided with Day 1 of Bayani Challenge 2016, GK’s annual, massive volunteer event.  It gathers volunteers from different parts of Philippines and the world to come together and work hand-in-hand with and for the poor.   For five days, volunteers participate in house builds, school refurbishing, Paraisong Pambata (playtime with kids), clean-up drives and others.

While the Shell-GK MOA Ceremony and Groundbreaking event happened during Bayani Challenge, the partnership between Shell and GK goes beyond and way back.  In the past 5 years, Shell has largely supported Gawad Kalinga through the GK Enchanted Farm, building villas and a training center that help set-up this social enterprise platform. Recently, Shell has also helped GK respond to those affected by Typhoon Lando through relief and rehabilitation efforts. Truly, many can be accomplished for the poor by working together.

Everyone is excited to see the Shell GK Kalikasan Village develop into a beautiful community with colorful homes and families rich in hope and love.

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