FVR off to Canada for Fund-Raising Events in 3 Cities

Manila Bulletin, October 22, 2008 | Go to article overview

FVR off to Canada for Fund-Raising Events in 3 Cities


Former President Fidel V. Ramos left yesterday for a 10-day trip to Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, all in Canada, to attend, as keynote speaker and participant, a series of of fundraising events organized by the ANCOP (Answering the Call of the Poor) Foundation-Canada, to support the community development projects of Gawad Kalinga (GK) in the Philippines.

Ramos is also scheduled to call on senior government officials, hold roundtable discussions with academe and business groups, and interact with the large Filipino communities in the three cities.

GK is a non-profit, nongovernment organization incorporated in July 2003, whose primary purpose is to pursue an "integrated, holistic, and sustainable community development program, especially in depressed areas, addressing housing, livelihood, and health needs as well as values and spiritual formations.''

Since the first GK house was built in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City a few years ago, GK has established several communities and built thousands of homes throughout the Philippines.

Under its "GK777'' campaign launched in October 2003, GK envisions the construction of 700,000 houses in 7,000 communities for the next seven years, with 2010 as target year for delivery.

GK maintains partnerships with individuals, corporations, religions and charitable institutions, as well as foreign government agencies who help by donating funds to GK villages and actively participate in home and community building activities.

Ramos, a long-time GK advocate, hopes to earn more support from Filipinos overseas for GK projects and communities.

"My introductory stint with Gawad Kalinga -- helping to paint new lowcost homes for the victims in the Baseco Compound, Port Area a few years ago -- convinced me of the relevance and appeal of GK as a service organization to benefit the marginalized and poorest among us,'' he said.

"For students and family heads and members with time to spare, the spirit of volunteerism and the impulse to share something with needy people satisfies a moral obligation consistent with the Filipino spirit of bayanihan. …

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