“Build a “home” not just a house“ is the adage of Gawad Kalinga, the admired group of volunteers who build communities. And DLSHSI has just added another dimension to its colorful model of building communities. Through a Memorandum of Agreement that its top brass signed on January 28, DLSHSI and GK have pledged to work together to build healthy communities.
Within the comprehensive partnership, DLSHSI brings its multi-faceted ministry into GK’s solid track-record of building thriving communities for people who used to be homeless. According to the MOA, DLSHSI will be the focal institution for GK’s health programs in Cavite and the rest of Southern Luzon. This means that GK will count on DLSHSI’s expertise in developing education and capacity-building programs, as well as delivering direct health care services. While ensuring that GK Village residents are healthy, DLSHSI will also provide scholarship opportunities for young community members and promote and provide training to GK residents in various areas including in the diagnosis and prevention of tuberculosis, maternal and child health, environmental health, disaster management, and even in sports and values promotion. The establishment of livelihood programs is also among the platforms offered by DLSHSI.
During the MOA signing, Vice Chancellor for Lasallian Mission and Linkages Dr. Charles Yu, encouraged the hundreds of DLSHSI students in attendance to take advantage of this new opportunity to help poor communities and share their skills with them. As DLSHSI’s lead person for the partnership, he pledged his commitment to making the partnership a model for institutions who wish to collaborate in making tangible improvements in the lives of those who badly need help. “Poor communities have better chances of making a turn-around of their lives when institutions provide multi-dimensional assistance and programs. It is wonderful that GK has initiated efforts to ensure that they are not only sheltered, they are also ensuring that the communities will remain healthy, otherwise, they will not be able to help themselves and others,” said Dr. Yu.
Meanwhile, GK’s Executive Director, Louis Oquinena, told the students: “This is a wonderful starting point to know your generation’s place in the future and experience new things by helping the least and needy.”
The following day, on January 29, two buses full of DLSHSI students and employees trooped to the GK SMDC Village in Dasmarinas Cavite and GK Village in Hugo Perez, Trece Martirez to plant trees and build a home.