Policy & Nation Developement
Chairman and Founder of
Tony Meloto is a dreamer. He dreams that the Philippines will rise out of poverty and become a first world nation by 2024. He dreams that the day will come when no Filipino will be a squatter in his own homeland...
Tony Meloto is a dreamer. He dreams that the Philippines will rise out of poverty and become a first world nation by 2024. He dreams that the day will come when no Filipino will be a squatter in his own homeland; when OFWs will no longer have to work abroad and be separated from his family; when our nation becomes one of the richest countries in Asia, if not the world.
There are many dreamers like Tony. The big difference is that when Tony Meloto dreams, many take notice, and listen. And many dare to believe.
Who is Tony Meloto? Born to humble beginnings in Bacolod, Philippines, Tony Meloto studied in Ateneo de Manila on a scholarship program and graduated to lead a successful business career. He had a life-transforming spiritual encounter with God in 1985, and gave more of his life to a Catholic organization, Couples for Christ. As one of its leaders, Tony was heavily involved in the Couples for Christ’ outreach program in Bagong Silang, a huge relocation site for "squatters" in Metro Manila. It was there that God opened Tony’s eyes and gave him a vision; a life purpose.
The squatters living in Bagong Silang desperately needed the basic necessities of life, both physical and spiritual. Tony saw the need to not only get them out of poverty, but to uplift their spirits, remove their "slum mentality", and instill new hope. But one man can’t do it alone. Thus, Gawad Kalinga was born; wherein new homes will be built for and by the poor with the help of sponsors. The homes will form a Gawad Kalinga (GK) village, where families will be taught right Christian values and skills to form a new livelihood. Children are given proper education and GK volunteers provide counseling and guidance
Tony saw the need to not only get them out of poverty, but to uplift their spirits, remove their "slum mentality", and instill new hope. But one man can’t do it alone.
Tony Meloto formulated the guidelines that governed each Gawad Kalinga project. He shared his vision with friends who embraced the project. GK, launched in 2003, thus built one new home at a time for the poorest of families.
Being given a new home, the beneficiaries have been instilled with a renewed sense of worth and responsibility, because although they were not made to pay for their new and sturdy homes, they would need to help out in making new homes for other needy families, side-by-side with the volunteers of Gawad Kalinga. Thus began one of the greatest examples of a good act propagating efforts to do even more good acts for others. Crime rate went down in the communities and slowly, the poor started to rise out of their impoverished lifestyles and mentality.
As Gawad Kalinga started building homes and communities, God moved in the hearts of thousands of individuals and companies to give their donations and support. People from around the world adopted villages and volunteered their time and energy to the communities. GK became a model template to the world as one of the solutions to help the poor.