Barangay Walang Iwanan

This year, GK launches Barangay Walang Iwanan – an effort to inspire our barangays to care and share for their own communities and end poverty in their area. 

The Bayani Challenge 2015 serves as a starting point for Naga City and the Third District of Camarines Sur to join the movement. As a bystander to all the preparations for Bayani Challenge, I am in awe of the support given by our city’s Mayor, Vice Mayor and the different departments. Congresswoman Leni Robredo and her team (who I haven’t had the honor of really working with yet – but get to “watch” through facebook) have also been working side by side GK’s own volunteers. 

I believe we all truly want to do something for our home – our city, our district, our country. There is no question about that. What is evident (and not just with the local public servants here) is that the approaches we use may be a bit different. But who says structure, science and spirit need to clash?

It is not surprising that Tito Jun Lavadia, Barangay Captain of Tabuco (Naga City), leads the way in forging the partnerships between Gawad Kalinga and the local government. Tito Jun was among the few who first believed in GK in Bicol. Nagtaya silang mag-asawa. They believed, they served, and now, they are helping the barangays embrace the GK way.

During the opening of Bayani Challege, Tito Jun shared how the event was initially not met with enthusiasm. Working during the peak of summer, under the heat of the sun is not exactly the ideal vacation. But with persistence and many presentations on the programs, Barangay Tabuc came full force, teachers, officers and all. The Kalinga Nights will be held in their gym, with all the teams converging there for the night.

They have accepted the challenge. Going beyond their obligations as teachers, as staff, as policemen, as soldiers – but embracing their obligation as citizens, as people, as beings who ought to give care, precisely because they are human. 

Bayani Challenge is only the beginning. The values formation, that we believe is the core of GK’s programs, the spirit of bayanihan, the posture of humility, openness and love, the call to service for our communities is now going to go beyond our colorful villages and into the barangays all over the country.