It is not easy to be outdoors in April in Manila as this is the peak of the Philippines’ dry summer season. But the searing heat did not deter more than sixty Canadian and local staff of the Embassy in Manila, led by Ambassador Christopher Thornley, when they recently volunteered their time to paint houses at a social housing project called Gawad Kalinga (“Give Help”) in a poor community in Taguig, a suburb of Manila.
Aside from painting and finishing houses that will soon be distributed by Gawad Kalinga to the new residents, the staff also organized story-telling sessions, art workshops, talks on nutrition, and orientation on personal hygiene for the children in that community. The staff also donated basketballs and badminton sets for use in the area.
The initiative, organized by the embassy’s volunteerism committee, also served as a team-building event with the staff committing time and personal resources to participate in the day’s activities.
“We recognize the great spirit of volunteerism that Gawad Kalinga exudes and promotes, that is why we at the Embassy have decided to follow GK’s example and take up the challenge of trying to create positive impact in a community, even for a day,” Ambassador Thornley said.
|Staff paints as part of Gawad Kalinga|
|Reading stories at Gawad Kalinga|
|Gawad Kalinga art session|
|Painting and making a difference|