Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cutting poverty

Gawad Kalinga, Reyes Haircutters (RH) build homes for the poor
-by Patricia Esteves
"Beneficiaries of Gawad Kalinga (GK) housing in the slums of Deparo, Caloocan have a reason to smile and feel positive about these days despite the economic crisis.

Five new, rainbow-colored homes have been constructed in the area and were recently handed over to the beneficiaries.

Thiry-seven more homes will be constructed plus a new salon training center for the livelihood of the residents.

In the new salon, everyone will be welcome to learn hair-cutting, styling, body and foot massage, pedicure and salon management, among others, for free.

After finishing the course, beneficiaries are guaranteed to be employed in any of the Reyes Haircutters' branches.

They can also opt to work in other salons, put up their own business or go abroad for employment..."
I must say this is a most welcome innovation along the lines of "teach a man how to fish...". It underscores the ideal of an unselfish, holistic, sustainable, and values-driven approach in finding solutions to poverty. According to RH president Les Reyes, their on-going project "Gupit Ko, Buhay Mo" allocates 1 peso for every P50 haircut fee in all Reyes salons to the construction of more GK homes. A little less for self, but most definitely more for others. While the current news on the "Legacy" pre-need scandal (among a host of other unresolved scandals) appalls most of us, there are bright, refreshing spots on the horizon like this hair-and-poverty-cutting development. Now, if only we had more of the likes of Les Reyes and less of the likes of...


Brod. Romy said...

Bro.. just for info. Before the split, I happened to be in a CLP team to establish a new GK community in one of the municipalities covered by our Diocese. A land owner who reside in Cebu donated (I don't know if the donation was completed)an area for the community. The Cebu GK group were leading the campaign but after the split I have no more idea if the project would push through since it is the Cebu group who look for donors. I don't know the progress since then. If you care, the people there really need the help. I hope this project would materialize and be a model for a renewed bond between the global and FFL teams. I know a merger just need some catalyst, setting pride (the "devil within") aside. What do you think?

Brod. Romy said...

Bro, I don't have the authority to discuss the matter coz I am just a concerned member. In case you elevate the matters to higher leadership, please don't mention me. I don't know also the plan in our local "Work With the Poor" program coz they don't discuss it with the members also. I'm praying always the two groups unite once again. I trust in your wisdom Bro. God bless you!

WillyJ said...

Brod Romy,

GK is still going on strong after the split. I suppose the Cebu GK project proceeded as well. I will be in Cebu next month for the YFC ILC and I will ask around.. Thanks for the tip.

As for reunification, we are not discounting it might happen in the future, we hope it does, as minds and hearts are mended. God works in mysterious ways. In the meantime, we must all move forward and run the good race.

God bless,
- Willy

petrufied said...

hey that's really nice! i should start getting haircuts at reyes haircutters... hehe

sunnyday said...

Hmm not a bad idea, petrufied. I might do the same. There's one not far from here and my sister, who got her hair cut there regularly before she relocated, was quite satisfied.

This is another great way to help the poor in a practical way.

Thanks for the news, WillyJ :-)