Non-profit organization Gawad Kalinga has hosted a fundraising dinner in Toronto to gain support for its poverty alleviation efforts in the Philippines.
The organization's executives thanked the community for their support and stressed the importance of connection between Filipinos abroad and those back at home.
"The work is not over until we address all the issues in the Philippines, especially the poverty and of course especially the homes for the homeless," said Pidoy Pacis, Gawad Kalinga Canada chairperson.
Dan Bercasio, Gawad Kalinga Philippines' executive director, said that while the organization is known for building communities, the lack of homes is not the only issue that needs to be addressed.
"We can start even small," he said. "Ang importante, dumaloy yung pagmamahal at maramdaman ng ating mga kababayan lalo na sa Pilipinas na hindi sila iniiwan ng kanilang mga kababayan na nasa ibang bansa."
Executives said they seek to break the cycle of poverty by connecting families to an ecosystem of partners that give them a source of livelihood.
"Sustainability is really building the culture of productivity," Luis Oquiñena, GK Philippines chairperson, shared. "[It's] something that can be scaled. And it's something that should connect the poorest not just as a labour component."
Gawad Kalinga was able to raise thousands of dollars during that event that was attended by hundreds of donors and supporters.
The fundraising was also attended by government leaders who thanked Gawad Kalinga for its advocacy.
The organization hopes to engage more Filipinos in Canada to help transform more lives back in the Philippines.