"GK Highway of Peace" caps 4th, 5th Uswag-GK in Comval
by Fe Maestre
Compostela Valley (21 April) -- "You have just raised the bar in GK. We are challenged as you raised the standard a couple of notches higher?this is what is governance is all about," thus said Luis Oquiñena, Gawad Kalinga Executive Director during the culmination program on April 17 at the PBB-Uswag-GK Village in New Bataan. Oquiñena refers to Comval Gov. Chiongkee Uy who is the brainchild to the Uswag-GK Villages now built initially in Kinuban, Maco.
The event is also the 6th GK-Highway of Peace (HOPE) Caravan hosted by Comval which was attended by GK, Couples for Christ, LGUs and volunteer builders who came from as far as Sultan kudarat, Iloilo, Iligan, Cagayan De oro, Lanao Del Norte/Sur, Davao City, Maguindanano, and Bukidnon.
Those coming from the South had a stop-over at the Uswag-GK Villages in Kinuban, Maco and from the North team, converging in the newly-opened Bansilaw-Uswag-GK Village in Monkayo.
Dubbed as Bayani (hero) Challenge, the program helps build homes for the homeless and ties up with the Gawad Kalinga founded by Tony Meloto. Comval just ended its 4th and 5th build located in Monkayo and New Bataan from April 9-17. The week-long build produced a total of 48 houses in Monkayo and 20 houses in New Bataan with volunteer workers from all over the country pitching in their labor of love.
Relying on odd jobs, 46-year old Julita Paslangan and her husband could barely make ends meet for their family. As a Kapitbahayan-beneficiary in New Bataan, she longs for a decent home of their own. "Ang among balay nipa ra ug dili pa gyud amua ang yuta. Ang among sala mao napud katulgan ug kan-anan. Ang gihatag kanamo daku na kining tabang dili lamang sa disenteng balay apan labaw na ang paghatag ug garbo ug paglaum sa among pamilya," ("Our house is made of nipa and we don't even own the place. Our sala functions as our bedroom and kitchen. More than providing us a decent house, they also gave us the pride and hope in our family"), she said.
Overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, Gov. Uy was teary-eyed as he sang "kung may pag-ibig ay may pag-asa...ang ialay natin ay saya" as he gratefully thanked the donors who pledged for the construction of the houses and the legion of volunteers who help and join the week-long build. He also thanked the municipal mayors who embraced the advocacy to provide for homes to the indigents that they can call their own.
Gov. Uy targets to put up similar Uswag-GK Villages in all municipalities and declared that the next bayani build will be in Laak. (ids comval) [top]