Goodbye Gutom: Ending hunger through bayanihan
MANILA, Philippines – It was a beautiful Sunday morning radiating with good vibes.
The day was just breaking, but the sight of banana leaves being laid upon rows after rows of tables along the street was already enough to stir that familiar sense of hope in the air: The boodle fight, a trademark of Gawad Kalinga as a way of being one with the the poor, was about to take place with the homeless in a couple of hours. Inspiration would be full once again.
Gawad Kalinga Quezon City on November 23, Sunday, launched Goodbye Gutom: a feeding campaign that aims to alleviate hunger among the urban street dwellers.
Thriving in its battle cry "Walang Gutom Kung Walang Iwanan", Goodbye Gutom was a humble success as it was able to gather and feed around 600 Kasalo (homeless people) coming from as far as Tarlac.
Volunteers, students, partner institutions, Kapitbahayans (GK residents), artist-performers, friends, and other anti-hunger warriors came in full force to help make the massive feeding happen.
Senator Grace Poe, a champion of hunger relief, also joined to support Goodbye Gutom. She graced the crowd with her inspiring words and vow of swaying her influence and power to their favor.
The road to ending hunger is collaboration
The cordoned off NIA Road was witness to the collaboration of several communities in fighting hunger among those in need.
More than 20 GK villages chipped in to buy the necessary goods for the feeding program: hotdogs, eggs, dried fiesh, rice, and bananas. All were served to the Kasalos, thanks to the donations of the various good-hearted individuals and groups.
Student-volunteers from the University of the Philippines and Ateneo De Manila University joined GK communities of Ruby and Sitio Pajo in the kitchen purely set up from lent pots, plans, and utensils of volunteers.
Goodbye Gutom stood on the spirit of bayanihan ground alone.
The mission of GK is to end poverty for 5 million Filipino families by 2024 and it is important to empower those who belong to the poorest sector and let them know that they are also part of the solution. Even though they have little to offer, they can still contribute to nation-building.
Goodbye Gutom does not promise to provide the homeless material wealth. The program offers a chance to get to know them, learn from them, and eventually empower and restore their dignity by journeying with them.
The GK way
Goodbye Gutom is one of Gawad Kalinga's means of eradicating poverty through building a relationship with the poor and building their communities, a GK study-based approach which is also called the GK Way.
The organization believes that poverty is essentially the loss of dignity due to lack of caring and sharing in our society. When the poor is made to understand that the cause of poverty is behavioral, then they are inspirited to change their ways and not just rely on dole outs in order to survive.
A nation with a culture of caring and sharing will make poverty a thing of the past. In the spirit of bayanihan, we say Goodbye Gutom, and in the spirit of Walang Iwanan, we build the nation. – Rappler.com
Michelle Lado is a coordinator at Gawad Kalinga.
To learn more about Gawad Kalinga's Goodbye Gutom and other programs, please visit their website here.
How can we help fight hunger? Recommend NGOs, report what your school or LGU is doing, or suggest creative solutions. E-mail us at email@example.com. Be part of the #HungerProject.