All you Need to Know about Viviamo! in the AP

1. What is VIVIAMO?

    Viviamo!, Italian for “We live!”, is a new annual WYA project that showcases best practices in development work.

      In honor of the International Year of Habitat, we have chosen HABITAT for 2006’s theme.

  Each of the five WYA Regions has identified a community-based project that is effectively building living environments that address the needs and desires of the person. The projects will be presented to WYA members and regional and international leaders during WYA training, advocacy, and cultural events.

      Consequently, the 2006 selections for Viviamo! were chosen as concrete examples of habitat developments that enable the human person to flourish and build up the community. They are effective initiatives in which the ingenuity of each person is being harnessed to find unique and creative new solutions to large-scale problems. 

2006 Viviamo! Selections

     Africa selected the Nyumbani Village, a self-sustaining community being built to server orphans and their elderly caretakers who are left behind by the "lost generation" of the AIDS pandemic.

    Asia Pacific selected Gawad Kalinga, an organization building communities out of slums in the using an integrated and holistic approach.

   Europe selected the Greek-Catholic Metropolitan Caritas, an organization that offers programs within the framework of the social mission of the church; in particular special social programs for children, especially those with disabilities and AIDS and assistance to the elderly and to the lonely.

     Latin America selected Acortar Distancias, a program that offers street children an integral education ranging from formal learning and art classes to skills training.

   North America selected the Katrina Cottage initiative: beautiful, permanent housing designed for the Gulf Coast environment in the style of local architecture – an alternative to the temporary FEMA trailers given to the victims of the 2006 Katrina Hurricane.


2. What is GAWAD KALINGA*?

    Gawad Kalinga (GK), translated in English means “to give care,” is an alternative solution to the blatant problem of poverty not just in the Philippines but the world. Its approach is integrated, holistic and sustainable – a concrete action plan to rebuild this nation by harnessing the best of the Filipino – our faith and our patriotism.

      What started barely five years ago in the Philippines as a simple but daring initiative by Couples for Christ has now become a growing multi-sectoral partnership driven by a vision of a new Philippines with NO MORE SLUMS.  Together with its partners, Gawad Kalinga is now in the process of transforming poverty-stricken areas, many of them now empowered to further improve their quality of life!

    And the heart-work of GK volunteers is evident in the beautiful colors of the GK homes that have been built for and with the poorest of the poor Filipino families nationwide.

  The transformation is astounding. Slums are disappearing. Rich and poor, Muslims and Christians, government and the private sector are building communities together. The poor are re-discovering their dreams, and are being empowered to build a better future for their families. The stories of how not only the poor but also the donors have been transformed continue to grow.

    Gawad Kalinga’s achievements are a reflection of the sharing among different classes in society, and the partnership involving all sectors of society – bridging the gaps that divide us as a people. We are also building International Villages, showing that poverty can be addressed if rich and poor nations learn to share resources to create a better world for all.

* Article taken from:

3. What should I bring to the builds?

Work clothes and shoes
Since we’ll be working with a lot of paint and cement, save the designer duds for the closet and put on the stuff you don’t mind getting dirty.

Packed lunch
Mealtimes are usually spent with other members of the GK community. We’re also not always sure which restaurants are nearby, so it is always highly recommended to bring your own food and water for your own convenience.

Construction gloves

Cap (or something else to cover your head)

Change of clothes

4. DOs and DON’Ts



Keep your shirt on at all times.
Offer to help (especially where help is obviously needed)!
Accept whichever job is offered to you, even if it isn’t the one you originally wanted to do. Remember, we’re here to volunteer! ☺
Set a good example for everyone, especially the kids (and even the rest of the volunteers!)
Stay hydrated!

Smoke or drink alcohol at any time during any of the Viviamo! activities.
Bring any illicit materials (such as drugs or pornographic material).
Bring large amounts of cash—if necessary to bring any at all, we suggest that you do so only in small quantities.

5. When are the VIVIAMO! activities?

September 2006
8 – 10 // Fri – Sun
Immersion at GK Castañeda
16 // Saturday
Build // Activity with SIGA

October 2006
6 – 8 // Fri – Sun
GK Expo
(SM Mall of
6 // Friday
Parada Ng Mga Bayani

November 2006
11 // Saturday
Build // Activity with SIGA

December 2006
9 // Saturday
Christmas Party

January 2007
13 // Saturday
Build // Activity with SIGA

February 2007
10 // Saturday
Build // Activity with SIGA

March 2007
10 // Saturday
Build // Activity with SIGA

April 2007
14 // Saturday
Build // Activity with SIGA

May 2007
12 // Saturday
Build // Activity with SIGA

June 2007
9 // Saturday
Build // Activity with SIGA

July 2007
14 // Saturday
Build // Activity with SIGA

6. Where is GK Castaneda?

7. Any more questions?

    Feel free to send your inquiries to You can also call us at our office landline, (+632) 4330715.

    Thank you once more! Any help you can give will surely go a long way. We definitely look forward to working with you!