NP holds summit in collaboration with a humanitarian organisation to mark three years of partnership in raising awareness about poverty in the Philippines
The Gawad Kalinga (GK) Community Development Foundation and Singapore’s GK Hope Initiative (GKHi) recently launched their second GK Global Summit at NP’s Convention Centre on Jun 25.
Titled “Gawad Kalinga Summit 2010: Icon of Hope against Poverty”, the three-day event was organised by the School of Humanities (HMS) and the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Centre of Social Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy.
More than 700 people, including Noli De Castro, former Vice-President of the Philippines and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, were present at the summit.
Mr De Castro, 61, who was the Guest-of-Honour at the opening ceremony, says, “I have been supporting this movement for the past seven years and it has been a learning and rewarding experience for me.”
Founded in 2003, Gawad Kalinga, which literally translates to “give care” in Tagalog, is a non-profit organisation that builds houses for impoverished communities and developing nations.
Its collaboration with NP since 2007 has seen the polytechnic send more than 100 Business & Social Enterprise (BZSE) and Health Sciences students on community service trips and internships to various GK sites like Manila and Laguna in the Philippines.
Dr Mendoza Redante Delizo, a HMS lecturer, says, “[This summit] was a great learning platform for HMS students and staff to learn to plan and organise large-scale events.”
“Due to its informational and inspirational nature, it has [made an impression] on the local and overseas participants [about the plight of the poor in the Philippines],” he adds.
The symposium, which aims to “launch Gawad Kalinga as an Asian model of development against poverty” and showcase the practices and innovations in this line of work, was brought from inception to execution by 144 NP students and their NUS Business counterparts.
Muhammad Danial Hadi, 18, a second-year BZSE student from the Hospitality committee, says, “Working with people from different backgrounds and cultures was really hard, but it didn’t matter in the end because our common goal was to address poverty.”
Dr Redante also gave a presentation which featured stories of students who were transformed by their involvement in GK work through the GK Global Research and Internship Programme (GK-GRIP).
Teng Wei Ren Elaine, 18, a second-year Business Studies student, who attended the summit, came away with an important lesson.
“The success of the GK communities shows that every effort we make, however small, has an impact on the poor. We can all make a difference, if we so choose,” she says.
The next GK Global Summit will be held in Sydney, Australia in 2011.
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