November 2011

2012 Skoll Award goes to Gawad Kalinga

Gawad Kalinga is the recipient of theSkoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship for 2012. This was announced by Sally Osberg, President and CEO, who said that Gawad Kalinga brings new perspective to our growing portfolio of social entrepreneurs tackling poverty.

November 29, 2011, Palo Alto, CA –

The Skoll Foundation today announced a 2012 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship for Gawad Kalinga ( “Gawad Kalinga brings new perspective to our growing portfolio of social entrepreneurs tackling poverty,” said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation.

“With their deliberate focus on values formation and partnerships, Tony Meloto, Luis Oquiñena and their team have transformed large swathes of the Philippines. And they’ve successfully replicated the model in urban and rural environments, at half the cost of alternative interventions. We are delighted to welcome Gawad Kalinga to our Skoll community of social entrepreneurs.”

The Skoll Foundation invests in, connects and celebrates social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. Since its founding by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jeff Skoll in 1999, it has given $270 million to support social entrepreneurs and their organizations in the areas of development and aid reform, deforestation, water and sanitation, economic and educational opportunity, healthcare access and treatment, sustainable markets, food security and post-conflict stabilization.

Said Tony Meloto, Chairman of Gawad Kalinga, "The Skoll Award is an affirmation of hope-builders and poverty-busters. The challenge before us is to scale to reach more communities in desperate need. We see a great opportunity, now, to bring our model to many parts of the world where the debilitating effects of poverty hamper the progress of nations and burden their people."

Read Tony Meloto's recent chronicle of his recent 2-week trip to Europe here. 

Our unsung everyday heroes on the ground, our GK caretaker teams. 

Said Luis Oquiñena, Executive Director, "This is timely for the celebration of our country’s Bonifacio Day. We salute the modern day heroes : our GK caretaker teams, GK management teams and the GK heads for all their quiet and often unheralded work - it is their commitment to the poor that has brought GK the recognition of global institutions such as Skoll. We want to also honor our kapitbahayans who are the cornerstone and building block of the dream for a world without poverty. The Skoll award will enable us to empower more volunteers and institutions to help end poverty the GK way."

The Skoll Award provides a three-year core operating support grant for recipients to extend their already impressive reach. This year’s Skoll Awardees join the growing global network of 91 Skoll social entrepreneurs from 74 organizations who are tackling the world’s most pressing problems. The Skoll Awards will be formally presented by Skoll Foundation Chairman Jeff Skoll and CEO Osberg at a ceremony to be held on March 29, 2012. The event is an annual highlight of the Skoll World Forum, convened in Oxford, England, each spring. 

“Looking at our winners, including Gawad Kalinga, we are humbled,” said Osberg. “Our goal is impact -these are the people pulling it off. They’ve shown not just entrepreneurial vision, but the persistence needed to make lasting change. The four organizations we honor this year [the others are Nidan, Landesa and Proximity Designs] offer scalable proven solutions to some of the world’s most daunting problems. Three of the four are from Asian countries. All are pioneering new grassroots mechanisms that unleash the power of citizen-driven change, a hallmark of true social entrepreneurship.” 

For information on The Skoll Foundation, please see or contact Holly Finn, Director of Communications:

An Evening of Inspiration and Friendship

Thank you for letting us join the GK journey." - guest 
(Photos by Rene Sevilla and Cheryl Cantonjos)

Modern-day, living heroes were honoured at GK Canada’s event aptly called “A Gathering of Heroes” on November 18 at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel. These were the people who have donated their money, time, talents and skills to GK, for it to fulfill its vision of ending poverty in the Philippines by 2024.

More than 300 GK friends attended the affair. They came from corporations, community organizations, families and social circles.



Luis Oquinena, GK Philippines Executive Director, flew in to lend his support. Young but full of experience, Luis has been with GK since the beginning. The Canadian team learned a lot from him during the short time that he was in the country.






The guest speaker was Tony Olaes, chief executive officer of GK-USA, who inspired his audience with the    story of his transformation from a raised-in-America immigrant who stereotyped the poor and the Third  World to a firm believer in the Filipino spirit and an advocate for the poor.


Twenty partners who have donated houses and other infrastructures to GK villages were called in front to be recognized. Others were acknowledged for their contributions through rolling credits on screen.

The evening also unveiled the two-year campaign, One Canada GK, which seeks to raise the resources to complete the villages sponsored by Canadian groups and corporations in the vicinity of the Batasan and upgrade some villages to what GK calls “model status”.

A major fundraising and friendraising project of OCV is “Race to the Summit”, a virtual race leading to the 2012 GK Global Summit to be held in Toronto on June 8-9 at the Allstream Centre at Exhibition Place.

At the end of the evening, 21 team captains have registered their team names. More people are encouraged to form their teams and register them online at  Each team will have a page on the website where they can accept donations and monitor their progress. The first level will be Base Camp I and the last is of course the Summit.

Dr. Francis Rementilla and Renee Siao, the Lead Expeditionists, are optimistic that several teams will reach the Summit.