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7. Community involvement

Social investment


In 2002, Antonio Meloto decided to change his life to benefit the poor by creating the Gawad Kalinga foundation, the name of which comes from Tagalog and signifies “to take care”

This non-profit organization aims to develop poor communities in difficulty in order to contribute to improving their life. This is a significant challenge in a country such as the Philippines, where one third of the population, close to 30 million people, live in unsteady conditions. 

The success of this development model stems from the education of children, training adults and developing discipline as well as community solidarity.


  • Commit to a global poverty eradication project for 5 million families from now until 2024 in the Philippines.
  • Look for best practices likely to be adopted by other developing countries.
  • Favor the creation of companies within communities using their know-how.


The program is comprised of 3 parts:

  • 1st phase: Return the population’s dignity through village creation. Gawad Kalinga supports village creation by offering the opportunity for families in old slums to build their own housing. The landowners give away certain land, companies finance their houses, the people build them, and the state invests in roads and plumbing. The organization takes care of coordinating everything. Thanks to volunteers and partners from all areas of society (private companies, government organizations, religious organizations and civil ones, etc), Gawad Kalinga wishes to transform the slums into peaceful and productive villages. 
  • 2nd phase: developing a more inclusive economy through creating social enterprises.  The goal is to create jobs in order for communities to become self-sufficient in food but also economically. The Enchanted Farm social enterprise incubator intervenes to help. The aim is to promote the training of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. A university has also been created for the youth of the communities in order to learn to gain self-confidence. 
  • 3rd phase: industrializing developed companies by the incubator. The goal is to create a new economy in the Philippines by helping entrepreneurs to distribute their products beyond their community. 


  • Between 2003 and 2012, Gawad Kalinga built close to 3000 villages across the Philippines and impacted the lives of close to one million people, which corresponds to 1% of the population.
  • The model is exported to many Asian countries of the South East : Indonesia, Combodia, Papouasie New Guinee. 
  • Prizes and Awards:

- 2012 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship

- 2011 World Economic Forum

- 2011 Nikkei Asia Awards

- 2010 Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines

- 2010 Asia CEO Awards

- 2010 Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

- 2010 Reader’s Digest Asia Philippines’ Most Trusted

- 2009 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

- 2009 Hilton Humanitarian Award Finalist

- 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership

- 2006 Gawad Haydee Yorac Awardee

- 2006 The Outstanding Filipino Award (TOFIL) Awardee for Community Service

- 2006 Filipino of the Year (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

- 2003 Ateneo Ozanam Award


  • Restoration of social justice with the creation of small communities constituted around common projects; trust between members of the community therefore more enclined to help poorer populations 
  • Growth and development of the Bulacan region (formerly affected by poverty and violence)
  • Support for the most talented Philippino graduates to start their social enterprise with the help of Gawad Kalinga
  • A mutually beneficial strategy which inspires developed countries 

Mise à jour le 29/08/2017

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