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From our mailbox…

August 30, 2006

GAWAD Kalinga’s number two man, Luis Oquiñena, called from Bacolod yesterday after coming from Guimaras. It seems GK will go to Guimaras a bit ahead of schedule because of the oil spill. It is now apparent that GK will be a potential force in any major disaster, as it is in any major slum upgrading. This imagery of GK is being conditioned into the minds of many by actual events and developments like Kalinga Luzon, Kalinga Leyte, and also Baseco.

Because of the oil spill, many coastal villages have no source of both food and income from the sea. Aside from any environmental work (cleaning up) which is not GK’s strong suit anyway, the main concern is to help feed thousands of people. Should there be any request from partners to help in this area, GK will work with the CFC (Couples for Christ) structure in Guimaras which has been set up to assist in relief work. Otherwise, GK moves into food production and community development – which is what we really want to do. I think we are already looking for places where we can be granted permission to build GK and also do food production work.

A multi-sectoral initiative in Cebu will be raising funds to help Guimaras. Some members are already partrners of GK in Cebu and it is probable that they will ask GK to combine efforts on the ground (our network and services with their funds). A few local companies and also Fil-Ams have indicated they want to be part of a more permanent GK intervention.

Boy Montelibano

(From Teddy M.)

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