Globe and SingTel volunteers painstakingly build a house for impoverished families in Bantayan Island, Cebu through the Gawad Kalinga Bayani Challenge 2011
Unmindful of the fatigue and scorching heat, volunteers from Globe Telecom and its shareholder Singapore Telecommunication Limited (SingTel) willingly mixed cement, stacked hollow blocks, made steel and wall frames, and did a host of other construction jobs just to provide a home for one of Bantayan Island’s marginalized families.
Ten volunteers from Globe, 12 from SingTel and another 10 from the Globe Gawad Kalinga sponsored village in Bagong Silang, Caloocan, traveled to far-flung Bantayan to participate in the Gawad Kalinga Bayani Challenge 2011 in Madridejos town. They joined over 1,700 volunteers from 27 provinces and three countries – USA, Australia, and Singapore, in giving a better life to residents of the island.
With its pristine shores and crystal clear blue waters, Bantayan has become one of the most popular vacation spots in Cebu province. However, behind its beauty is a backdrop of poverty where people, mostly fisher folks, continue to live a hand-to-mouth existence. This prompted GK to hold the annual Bayani Challenge in Bantayan.
For the GK Bayani Challenge 2011, 90 teams engaged in various activities such as building of homes, schools and farms; island greening; health mission; and feeding program and sports clinic for children.
Billy Tan, head of the SingTel delegation, remained undaunted by the task despite the bruises he received while clearing the area and building the house. Although Billy was a first time GK volunteer without any construction experience, the 35-year old consultant expects to join future Bayani Challenges which he said gave him not only a sense of fulfillment but also a feeling of camaraderie with other volunteers.
Team Globe leader and civil engineer Dante Rosello, on the other hand, is a regular volunteer. Rosello is always willing to help the less fortunate, having experienced financial difficulties himself during his growing up years.
Even Rommel Alido, a resident of Globe GK Village in Bagong Silang, makes it a point to volunteer every time his help is needed as a way of giving back to the organization which helped him and his family acquire a new home after their house was burned in 1985.
This was the fifth time for Globe employees to join the GK Bayani Challenge, believing that doing volunteer work for the needy is a way to achieve a work-life balance.