Skoll Foundation


Gawad Kalinga

Skoll Entrepreneur(s): Tony Meloto and Luis Oquiñena
Award Year: 2012
Focus Area(s) Addressed: Education and Economic Opportunity

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Gawad Kalinga transforms slums into peaceful and productive communities. It works with 2,000 communities in the Philippines and other nations where poverty exists including Cambodia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Engaging all sectors of society, mobilizing them to work together to end poverty, the organization is building a global army of volunteers on the ground and online, working with schools, corporations and other organized institutions to mainstream a culture of caring and sharing. Gawad Kalinga means to “give care”.


  • Gawad Kalinga was on the ground helping those affected by Typhoon Hayan/Yolanda in Nov. 2013. By July 2014, GK mobilized 1.6 volunteers with their Bayani Challenge contributing to 1,200 homes rebuilt, 339 roofs repaired, and 613 boats given to fishermen as of July 2014.
  • By December 2014, GK’s goal is to rebuild 6,000 homes, repair 1,500 roofs and donate 1,500 boats. The group has also identified 11,671 home lots in 57 towns in 9 provinces as safe zones where homes can be built and families relocated permanently.
  • Gawad Kalinga (GK) inspires citizens to engage, over multi-year periods, weekly, with the poor in his immediate vicinity. It’s about a call to action – if the Philippines is to be a great country, no one can be left behind.  It’s about spreading GK’s philosophy of “caring and sharing” for the poor into a global movement to end poverty.
  • Gawad Kalinga works at the nexus of public, private, and civil sectors — tapping into multiple sectors to contribute time and resources, as part of the larger movement. GK partners with the government. At the national level, it’s everything from institutionalizing its model to ensuring funds flow to low-income housing. At the local level, it’s partnering with local government units to ensure roads are built, water connections are made and electricity is connected where new villages are built.
  • GK partners with corporations donating their products and services, employee time, construction materials, and money.  For example, Shell Corporation has partnered with many NGOs but in the last five years, GK has received the most funding because of the alignment with their values and benefits to employees (related to volunteerism). GK partners with academic institutions, where it taps into students as the next generation of leaders who can draft policy and evaluate GK’s impact.
  • GK partners with the civil sector, such as Visayan Forum Foundation where VFF can implement its programs within GK villages. Finally, GK partners with citizens, who donate their time as radical volunteers.
  • In 2012, the Kalinga bill just passed Ways and Means Committee in Congress and is moved on to the Appropriations Committee; GK is the inspiration behind Kalinga Bills; Kalinga Bills is also called “Volunteerism for Nation Building” and strives to institutionalize multi-sector partnerships (public, private, and civil sector) under the government’s national development plan on poverty eradication.
  • First Enchanted Farm opened late 2011 with several entrepreneurs (gourmet cheese making, hotel/massage facilities, bottled tea, bath products) working there. Enchanted Farm is third phase of GK’s community development plan (First is housing, second is education and agriculture, third is livelihoods). Enchanted Farm is a model where entrepreneurs work with GK communities as producers (and potential consumers) of local origin products. They realized that income-generating livelihoods are necessary for the village model to work — otherwise people will keep moving to cities.
  • Typhoon Sendong resulted in heavy flooding in Mindanao, a Muslim area of the Philippines. Though many of GK volunteers/employees are Christian, the GK movement is far beyond religious lines and GK helps bridge these lines.  San Miguel, a beer company, gave almost $6M USD donation for GK to rebuild 6000 homes in this area.



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