WYAAP to Build Houses For the Poor, With the Poor

Viviamo! – Asia Pacific

The World Youth Alliance is marking the International Year of Habitat by highlighting community-based projects in each of our 5 regions that address poverty and local concerns while highlighting the dignity of the person.  These projects were chosen as concrete examples of habitat developments that enable the human person to flourish and build up the community.

This entire project by the World Youth Alliance, titled Viviamo! – Celebrating the Beauty in Living, aims to challenge members of the Alliance to reflect on Beauty, to capture the beauty they see inside themselves or that they want to live.

“Vivamo” means “We Live” in Italian and seeks to affirm the cause for celebration – the fact that we are.  This project provides the opportunity for World Youth Alliance members to participate in World Habitat Day in a unique way. 

Through Viviamo, World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific aims to showcase Gawad Kalinga (http://www.gawadkalinga.org) as a regional best practice of the Habitat agenda.  The mission of GK is to transform slums into beautiful, peaceful and self-reliant communities by building a culture of caring and partnership among the inhabitants of the slums.

“Gawad Kalinga” translated in English means “to give care”, and it 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.  GK is a growing multi-sectoral partnership driven by a vision of a new Philippines with NO MORE SLUMS.  Its achievements are a reflection of the sharing among different classes in society, and the partnership involving all sectors of society – bridging the gap that divide us as a people.

The Asia Pacific region has committed to building a village (approximately 50 houses) for GK in the Philippines.  Together with the support and initiatives of headquarters, partner organizations and others, it will raise the funds for the village by approaching sponsors, grant-giving bodies and individuals to contribute to building homes. In addition, the regional office will implement recruitment procedures for involving members, families, friends and all interested parties to help build. It will commit to a number of weekday/weekend builds throughout the duration of the Viviamo Project.

The project team will be having an immersion in the chosen GK community for whom the village will be built.  Being in the area and living with the community will enable the team to get a better grasp of their project and its purpose.  The immersion activity is scheduled to take place on May 23-27, 2006.