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APRIL 2015

 

GK goes beyond houses for the poor…
now it's about social entrepreneurship

KRIS Aquino (6th fr. L) interviews GK founder Tony Meloto for her ABS-CBN TV show aired on TFC in the U.S. Also pictured are Pokwang and French student interns at Enchanted Farm.

 

ANGAT— Tony Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga calls it “Enchanted Farm.”  It makes sense because this 25-hectare hatchery of social enterprises is located at Barangay Encanto on this hilly part of Bulacan.


 After only six years of its formal opening, the place is now an international destination. Aside from the bus-loads of students from the elite schools in Manila, young interns from Europe, Asia and the U.S. have been making their pilgrimages year-round.

 

LEFT PHOTO SHOWS FILM Director Sheila Yusay with Tony Meloto during the showing of her documentary, "Social Artist" at the Ateneo de Manila. The 89-minute film will be shown at Northeastern Illinois University on April 29 and at Elston Ave. United Methodist Church on April 30.


Many French students come and stay.  Now they are joined by young people from other countries. So what’s attracting these youths?  The draw is the enchantment of a shared vision that they can make a difference in a world increasingly challenged by poverty and environmental problems.


After building more than 200,000 houses for the poor in the past 12 years, Gawad Kalinga moved on to up the ante.  Would it not be better if poor people earned enough for themselves to be able to build their own houses?  Would it be as well better for the youth to get imbued with the vision of arming themselves with the know-how and motivation to start socially responsible enterprises that will create jobs for the poor?


The viability of this concept is no longer being debated.  Mainstream industries have joined the pilgrimage and started endowing the “Enchanted Farm” with resources and buildings. It has since been even more cool (and profitable?) to be identified with the GK brand.


Kris Aquino on TFC


When Philippine top product-endorser Kris Aquino went up the Angat hills—pro bono—with Pokwang in tow, you know “Enchanted Farm” got it made.  One must concede the drawing power of the sister of  PNoy--  Filipino Americans started paying attention.  Even the Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Cuisia has made it a “must” to bring outstanding Filipino American youths to this place. It never fails to wow them and to make a vow to visit again or even get involved in its enterprises.


Ever inclusive in its approach, Tony Meloto is now bringing the best of his team in a Social Business Roadshow, “Rising Philippines,” to visit major U.S. cities including Chicago on April 29-30.  The events are free and refreshments will be served.  These are underwritten by sponsors who share in the goal of eliminating poverty in our homeland and bringing dignity and pride to the Filipinos.


Attendees will have  opportunities to create wealth for themselves while helping others through social entrepreneurship and socially responsible business practices.  Dylan Wilk, the young British-millionaire who became a full-time GK advocate and founder of a very successful cosmetic industry, “Human Nature,” will make a special trip to Chicago to share his inspiring experience.


Above are the details of the roadshow/conference and names and contact information of volunteers who will assist you. RSVP is appreciated to help in the preparation.

(The third installment of Tony Meloto’s article “Towards a Kinder Fairer, Safer, Happier World in 2050” will be available in PINOY’s May 2015 issue)






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