Tampa, Florida. More than 300 hundred heroes from all over the USA, France, Canada, Philippines gathered at the Hampton Inn & Suites Oldsmar to attend the global conference of GAWAD KALINGA (GK) (in Tagalog which means giving care) is a Philippine poverty alleviation and nation-building movement known officially as Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation. Its mission is to end poverty for 5 million families by 2024. This year’s conference was themed as “PATHWAY to SOLIDARITY.” The conference by curious members of the Philippine community as well as Americans who wanted to know about the movement which has now gone global. But a majority of the attendees were long time members of the movement who have build villages and communities in the Philippines for the poorest of the poor. The conference was hosted by the Tampa Gawad Kalinga Core Group of professionals from all walks of life headed by Dr. Jose Raffinan who also happens to be the current GK USA Chairman. The conference had inspirational speakers and leaders who have been with the movement for many years. They spoke of different experiences and ways in how to get involve and eradicate poverty in the Philippines. The two conferences were highlighted by a grand “Bayanihan HOPE Ball” that was held at the Bayanihan Arts & Events Center hosted by the GK Tampa Team.

(L-R) Michael Gracia, GK USA chairman Dr. Jose Raffinan, and Fil-Am Social Club President Gigi Smith!
(L-R) Miss Gollie Bagul, Asistant GK Tampa Coordinator Jun Domantay and his wife GK Advocate Eva Domantay.
Miss Fil-Am Florida and Gk Ambassador to the Philippines 2017 Madeleine Knowles.