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a_mall_in_an_open_dump_site [2018/07/29 01:22] (current)
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 +=A Mall In An Open Dump Site=
 +“There is a mall in Smokey Mountain!”,​ the children
 +gushed as they watched in awe while the finishing
 +touches were being put in place in preparation for
 +the visit of government officials to the area. Smokey Mountain ​
 +is the term coined for a large landfill located in Manila, Philippines.
 +
 +The children were talking about the GK
 +(God's Kraft) Livelihood and Community
 +center in Tondo, Manila, site of the Smokey
 +Mountain temporary housing, where the
 +residents from the previous dump site were
 +relocated. The housing was intended to be
 +temporary but inconsistencies in government
 +and policy planning have made the
 +arrangement permanent.
 +
 +Most of the "​legitimate"​ dwellers dream of the
 +time when they can transfer to the permanent
 +medium-rise housing the government has
 +built for them. However, health and safety
 +concerns remain - the remaining mountain
 +of garbage still emits gas and there is very
 +real danger of an explosion. Mercifully,
 +the government has responded to the plight
 +of the people there. The government authorized the
 +grant of 24 million Pesos for a program that will
 +provide attractive alternative sources of
 +income for the residents. Hopefully this will
 +stop the scavenging from the new mountain
 +of garbage rising behind the temporary
 +housing.
 +
 +In the midst of the chaos, residents now see a ray
 +of hope for a better quality of life in the 
 +multipurpose center the children have
 +dubbed the "​mall"​. The old dilapidated livelihood
 +center formerly managed by NHA has been turned
 +over to the GK project. It has been converted into
 +a beautiful multipurpose center with a classy show
 +room.
 +
 +The new center stands as a symbol of the
 +every resident'​s dream - to have a beautiful,
 +spacious, clean home and the opportunity to
 +derive and increase their incomes. The last
 +aspiration is being addressed by the livelihood
 +and micro-lending program that CFC is
 +managing through the Foundation for the
 +Fullness and Integrity of Creation Inc. (FFICI)
 +
 +The Foundation is led by a group of women
 +with Gerry Padilla as Chair and marketing
 +head, Bernie Cuevas as Vice Pres. and
 +Project Consultant and Ruby Borja as
 +treasurer and Chief Finance officer. Together
 +with Fr. Ben Beltran, parish priest of Smokey
 +Mountain and president
 +of FFIC, and with the help of a host of other
 +professional volunteer workers coming from
 +CFC and Handmaids of the Lord, they have
 +made a difference in the lives of the people
 +there.
 +
 +The production of stylish bags went into high
 +gear when GK opened its first outlet at the
 +Glorietta mall, courtesy of Fernando Zobel
 +and the Ayala Foundation. Right in time for
 +the Christmas season, the beautiful unique
 +bags made of recycled newspapers were a
 +big hit among buyers. A number of inquiries
 +for export was also entertained. The FFIC/SMP group is gearing itself for an expansion
 +of product lines and continuing improvement
 +of the quality of the bags.
 +
 +Sen. Manny Villar, who is an avid supporter
 +of the program, graced the opening of the
 +outlet.
 +
 +The micro lending program has also shifted
 +to high gear with the completion of the training
 +of the loan officers and members of the Board
 +of the SMP cooperative. The operations
 +managed by Egay Alcanzare have
 +established the systems in support of both
 +the production and the micro-lending. Medy
 +Kapunan, retired administrator of UNDP, is
 +assisting in the administration of the project.
 +
 +To date, a total of 150 women have already
 +passed the requirements of the program and
 +have availed of the micro-lending for various
 +business endeavors. 350 more are being
 +processed. By the end of two years, we
 +envision servicing at least 2,000 women from
 +the area, providing income augmentation for
 +their families.
 +
 +FFIC is also providing office space for the
 +CFC Social Ministries in the community
 +center to ensure that not only livelihood, but
 +health, counseling, responsible parenthood
 +and even legal and other essential services
 +are brought nearer to the people of Smokey GK.
 +
 +The government officials spent their time in Smokey
 +Mountain talking to the women, expressing
 +their satisfaction for the direct impact in the
 +lives of the beneficiaries of her project grant.
 +
 +Indeed Smokey Mountain is a
 +model of how government, CFC
 +and people’s organizations can
 +work together in a shared vision ​
 +for a sustainable better quality
 +of life for the poor.
 +
 +
 +
 +[[Category:​Regional]] | [[Category:​Asia]] |  [[Category:​Organizations]] |
 +[[Category:​Religion]] | [[Category:​Christianity]] | [[Category:​Society]]
  

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