Tuesday, July 1, 2014

GK Enchanted Farm: Social Entrepreneurship and Ending Poverty in the Philippines

Pardon the big stomach, I had a big lunch :( 

One thing comes up when we hear “Gawad Kalinga” or “GK” – Housing. For many years GK has been building houses all over the country, so the correlation is highly expected. However, only a few people do know what this organization truly stands for.




The Bloggers’ Weekend at the GK Enchanted Farm provided me with an experience that I will treasure for a lifetime. My stay there opened my eyes to the reality.



Aside from the fresh air and astounding greenery, I noticed how GK really aims to develop the farm to be able to serve as a vessel for the bigger dream.

 


Gawad Kalinga is absolutely more than just building houses, Their goal is to build communities, to build the nation as one. YOU CAN BE A CATALYST FOR CHANGE. GK aims to end poverty by developing the concept of Bayanihan in the community through Social Entrepreneurship.



What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurship views business in a bigger aspect. What it basically means is using business as a channel to help those in need and are in poverty – may it be through donations, charity work, and even providing employment. Entrepreneurs should view profit as something that they can optimize rather than maximize – to make money so that the enterprise can inclusively develop. The bigger goal of a social enterprise is to not merely earn profit but to be socially relevant, to help the community through business, including those experiencing poverty as part of our bigger plan. The GK Enchanted Farm will make this possible by serving as a Social Enterprise Incubation Hub. The GK Enchanted Farm is a place that shows you anything is possible.





Philippines is an Agricultural Country

For years, the government has been pushing the Philippines to become highly industrialized. However, this is not the nature of our country. We have massive land spaces that are not used wisely. We should learn to own agriculture.







The Good, The Hopes,  and The Dreams

One of the most striking part of my stay at the farm was our chat with miss Cherry. She truly made me view people in a totally different way as she narrated her first few encounters at the farm. People employed at the GK Enchanted Farm come from all sorts of backgrounds, even those who were once neglected and forgotten. It is not enough to offer donations and make these people objects of charity. Basically GK gives them the capacity to hope and to dream as well. They are taught about agriculture (among many others) and how businesses work. They are given the opportunity to learn and to study the craft so that they can use it for their future. As mentioned, it is a place where anything and everything is possible. We should see the good in people regardless of their background. Whether they are criminals, convicts, murders, or thieves, we should still see the good in them and give them a chance to learn and to change. If you think good, it’ll happen.




Values Formation

One of the most important assets a person should never lose is one’s capacity to hope and to dream, and from there on, the rest will follow. This is what GK aims to build in people. People who come in to work are not merely given anything for the sake of charity. They should earn it. They should work hard for it. These people who seemed to be neglected and forgotten by the society attend a values formation program where they are rejuvenated and reborn. They are given the capacity to not only hope and dream but to see the world as we know it, to see it on a different perspective.







We can create wealth in this country.

The Philippines’ biggest asset is its human resource - the people.  Filipinos are favored employees all around the world for our innate goodness and our inclination to being hard workers. The question is, why not start here? Why go elsewhere? Although the OFW remittances does help the country, we too should keep in mind the other underlying components that are sacrificed when a parent, or even both parents, leave the country to seek and pursue better job opportunities. Although the intention is good, one should always ask one’s self what it could be like for a child to grow up with only one parent, or even no parent at all in the household. As a child is born first into a family, the parents and other member of the immediate family become the first teachers.




Filipinos can be tycoons and strong entrepreneurs.

One cannot simply be an employee forever. We too have the capacity to become tycoons and strong entrepreneurs. How do we do this? It is important for citizens to develop a LEADERSHIP mindset. Never lose the capacity to hope and to dream.






Buy Local Go Global

Due to colonial mentality, citizens do have a strong sense of inclination for foreign brands and products. However, this same mentality is what will crush our culture as well as inhibit our progress. We should learn to love, support, and patronize our local brands. Take China and Thailand for instance. The role then of entrepreneurs is to craft products that are of quality and excellence in order to flourish globally.





Book an overnight stay or a tour at the farm! Check out their website for more details.


You may check out the different businesses I discovered during my stay at the GK Enchanted Farm here: http://www.cammyaioki.com/2014/07/10-sexy-products-produced-at-gk.html


Location:

GK Hearquarters - 2nd Floor, Cheng Building, 212 Haig Street, Brgy. Daang-Bakal, Mandaluyong City, Philippines 1552

GK Enchanted Farm - California St., Pandi Angat Road, Angat, Bulacan, Philippines


How to get there via NLEX:

The GK Enchanted Farm is 50 km from Quezon City, Metro Manila. From the Balintawak Toll Gate of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), take the Bocaue Exit (total distance 33.5km).

From the Bocaue Exit (16km), turn right towards Sta. Maria via Bocaue Road and take a left when you see PTT Gas Station (1.2km). Turn left upon reaching the Walter Mart intersection (0.8km) and turn right at Win Gas Station (0.3km). Follow the Pandi-Angat Road by hanging right, until you see Encanto Elementary School, where you turn left at California St. to enter the site.


Official Website:



Contact Details:

+63-2-5332217
info@gawadkalinga.com

GK Enchanted Farm: 0916 225 3363


Social:

Twitter and Instagram: gkenchantedfarm


Photography: 

Adrianne Alamillo
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