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.