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GK on Solid Footing

The Eye by JG LariosaCHICAGO – A visitor must always abide by the rules of his host.
This is the philosophy being observed by Gawad Kalinga (GK), which isbeing criticized for accepting the help of prospective donors or sponsors, who might lead the house building charitable organization astray.

As one of the seven pillars of Couples For Christ (CFC), GK has become a center of public controversy following the reported split by some of its movers. The GK was reportedly put in a compromising bind when a prospective donor offered to provide artesian wells to the various villages being built by GK.

If the GK will accept the offer of the Mormons, some in the GK fear that the Church of Latter Day Saints followers might wean the GK organizers and home beneficiaries away from the teachings of the Couples For Christ and lead them into the teachings of the Mormons.

Of course, it is a wishful thinking and a narrow-mindedness of some of the people in the organization,” Joey Montelibano, a volunteer of GK, said last Sept. 22 at Wyndham Hotel in suburban Rosemont, Illinois during an interview with this columnist. Napakababaw naman ng kanilang pagkakakilala sa mga GK volunteers and recipients.” (It only goes to show that some people have no trust on the sense of judgment of GK volunteers and recipients.)

Before a volunteer or recipient joins the GK fold, they undergo some orientations that point to their adherence to some tenets of the Couples For Christ, a Manila-based religious organization, which was recognized by the Vatican in 2005.
So, it is not easy for Mormons or other like-minded organizations to just spread their teachings among GK volunteers and recipients since these volunteers and recipients are already bound by certain set of rules of the Couples For Christ, Montelibano explained.

If Mormons or other groups would like to make donations to GK, they agree that whatever help they are giving away will be spent for the attainment of GKs objectives, not the Mormons or other groups, Montelibano said. So, how will the objectives of the Mormons or other groups be promoted when the money or help they are giving to GK will not be spent to promote Mormons or other groups aspirations but for GKs objectives?”

According to its website, CFC is a movement intended for the renewal and strengthening of Christian family life. The members have committed themselves to the Lord and to one another so that they may grow in maturity as men and women of God and fulfill their primary vocation of raising up families under the lordship of Jesus Christ and for the service of the Kingdom of God .

Any validly married Catholic couple can become members of CFC. Although a Catholic movement/organization, CFC remains open to having non-Catholic Christians as members.

When CFC launched GK, it never occurred to them that it will take a life of its own.

Because GK caters to the poor to provide the poor with roof over their heads it did not realize that the poor are equal opportunity groupings whose reasons for being poor are as diverse as the stars in the skies.

These poor people, who need housing, are Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Atheists, etc. But if they want to take advantage of the public services extended by GK, they would have to abide by its mission to lead a Christian family life.

This means that if GK has provided you a home you can call your own, if you happen to succeed in life, you will be turning over your home over to somebody, who was as poor as you when you took up the GK home. And maybe, you can return the favor by donating a home or a village back to the poor people in the long waiting list. This is a good example of a carrot-and-stick diplomacy.

This can only happen when GK gets universal support. For this to happen, people should block off any distractions, intrigues, and splits, in GK and be a volunteer or donor to GK to keep its objective going. You will never go wrong. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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One Response to GK on Solid Footing

  1. What I don’t understand with GK is how can the condition of the poor be improved if given a house but without job. My understanding is that the so called poor who gets the house is, in fact, having a job and so is able to maintain the house, as well as food for himself/herself and his/her family. In essence, he/she is not really poor.

    What I am really wondering is that if GK is giving houses to people like those living on the railroad tracks in Manila. If this is being done and the condition of these poor people are improved, then I admire GK. I have seen those people in my last visit in 1995 and was wondering if GK have been helping them. Otherwise, if these poor people are not in GK’s list, the the reason for the claim that GK is succesfull is because they are giving their help to people who are already OK in the first place. GK can easily claim success this way.

    I would appreciate if someone could enlighten me. Thanks.