TONY MELOTO

COUNTRY

Philippines

ORGANIZATION

Gawad Kalinga

CAUSE

Slums

When Tony Meloto first started working with the poor in the slums of Metro Manila, he often wondered why millions of Filipinos lived as squatters when there was no lack of land across the Philippines.

Gawad Kalinga (GK), which Meloto founded, has since transformed the lives of more than one million people through its various programs. Within the Philippines, it has worked with more than 2,500 communities to build houses and convert slums into vibrant communities. GK’s vision is to eradicate poverty and restore human dignity to five million families by 2024.

Beyond the rainbow colored houses—a hallmark of GK’s work—Meloto has invigorated the bayani (hero) spirit amongst his countrymen, inspiring a movement that has reverberated across his country and to the shores beyond.

With Meloto’s “leave no one behind” approach, GK is changing the landscape—community after community— towards a time when “there are no more slums, no more hunger, no more violence, and no more poverty in this nation.” In solidarity with the poor, Meloto is spreading a message of hope and building dreams for a better future.

BRIEF FACTS


TONY MELOTO

1950

Born in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, to Antonio Meloto Sr and Lillian Palermo

1971

Qualified as a Full Academic Scholar of the Ateneo de Manila University, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics; started career at Procter & Gamble Philippines

1978

Built own successful printing and trading business

1985

Suffered mid-life crisis at the age of 35

1991

Left the business world to become a full time mission worker with Couples for Christ in Australia

1995

Returned to the Philippines to work with the poor in Bagong Silang, founded Gawad Kalinga

2003

Established GK777 vision of building 700,000 homes in 7,000 communities in 7 years

2007

Initiated expansion of GK overseas, starting in Indonesia

2008

Launched Human Nature, a 100 percent Philippine-made range of organic products

2009

Established GK2024, a 21-year vision that provides the roadmap towards a First World Philippines

 

 

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

2006

Ramon Magsaysay Community Leadership Award

Philippine Star’s People of the Year Award

Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Filipino of the Year Award

The Outstanding Filipino Award for Community Service

2009

Quezon City Citizen of the Year Award

2010

Reader’s Digest Asia’s Most Trusted Filipino

Ernst and Young Philippines’ Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year

2011

Nikkei Asia Prize for Regional Growth

2012

Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship

World Entrepreneur Forum’s Social Entrepreneur of the World Award

2013

Skal International’s Social Tourism Personality of the Year Award