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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

GK Transforms Poor Camarines Village

As our Lord admonished us in the parable of the talents, “To whom much has been given, much, will also be required.”

The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared on the front page of the Philippine Star last Sunday, July 29, 2007. Until I read it, I didn't know that there are already several Gawad Kalinga Villages in Camarines Norte, many funded by Filipino expatriates working and living abroad. This particular GK Village is in Barangay Bibiran (anybody knows where it is?) and is funded by Filipino expats in Vietnam.

GK Transforms Poor Camarines Village
By Patricia Esteves

For nine years Susan Lara and her nine children have been living hand-to-mouth existence in Barangay Bibiran in Daet, Camarines Norte.

Bibiran is one of the poorest barangays in Daet, where residents earn an average of only P2,00-P3,000 per month for a family of 7-10 members as dumpsite scavengers or casual laborers in coconut, rice and vegetable farms.

But what compounds the residents’ difficult situation is that they have to contend with the filth and smell of garbage every day since Barangay Bibiran has been a dumpsite for 25 years.

When the local government announced plans to make Bibiran an extension of a nearby garbage dumpsite last year, Susan knew the situation would get worse and cause more health problems, especially for the children.

They appealed to newly elected Daet Mayor Tito Sarion to reconsider.

Little did they know that God would grant not one but two of their prayers for not only did Mayor Sarion reject plans to make Barangay Bibiran an extended dumpsite, but Gawad Kalinga chose the location for the GK Pinyasan Vietnam Village.

Susan and 260 other families are beneficiaries of the GK homes that were donated by a group of Vietnam expatriates.

Last July 21, the Vietnam delegation helped in the construction of an initial 30 homes in Brgy Bibiran.

Renan Danganan, President of Ho Chi Minh’s Samahan ng Pinoy (SAPI) spoke on behalf of the Filipino expatriates in Vietnam, saying that the contributions for the 30 homes came from Filipinos working in all levels and various professions, but united in one mission to contribute in uplifting the lives of the poorest of the poor in the country.

The local government pledged to provide electrification, an access road, a sewage system and deep well water. Mayor Sarion said that the old dumpsite will be closed and transformed into a seedling bank, while the new dumpsite will be opened outside the municipal boundaries and will feature a Waste Material Recycling Facility in August.

The beneficiaries in turn will send their children to GK’s SAGIP, SIBOL & SIGA educational programs; participate actively in the livelihood projects involving planting of the sweet Formosa pineapple variety, pili nut and cocoa trees; and most importantly, attend the value formation programs that are under the auspices of the local chapter of the Couples for Christ.

Of the five hectares, two will be used for housing and the rest set aside for livelihood activities.

GK Pinyasan represents the 11th GK Village in the province of Camarines Norte.

53 comments:

Men Venida-Abot said...

Toti,

This is a very good project. Let us know what we can do to help or does our batch has a project in mind? Please let me know. Thank you. You really are a very compassionate person - one reason why you are special.

Ingat,

Men

Daet Parochial School Class 67 said...

This is something we can think of between now and February 2008.

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