By Mary Angela Barlongay
We live in a world that’s far from perfect. Calamities and disasters visit the country every year, resulting to families losing homes and loved ones. An estimated 10.5 million Filipino families consider themselves poor, according to Social Weather Stations (SWS). One out of 10 Filipinos is an out of school youth, making it common for such kids work at an early age to be able to help provide for their family. The war on drugs continues with more than 7,000 deaths, both from lawful police operations and unsolved killings. Just recently a terrorist group attacked the city of Marawi resulting to destruction of homes, deaths and wounding of soldiers, policemen, and civilians, the torching of the town’s churches, schools, and a hospital. With all of these happening to our country alone, how can we survive?
With each other
We can surpass any challenge in life if we have each other. By being of help to other people and sharing our blessing to those in need. This is the goal of Gava Gives, a fundraising platform in the Philippines. Its creator and CEO, Ann Lindayag, believes in the power of giving and wants to promote a lifestyle of generosity and kindness. She created a safe and trustworthy fundraising program so that people who need help and want to help have a place of their own. “As I grew older, I realized that not everyone was willing to give a helping hand, just like what my family was used to. Then there were others who were willing and wanting to help out, but were not familiar with the charities, organizations, and platforms, and found difficulty in donating to some institutions. This is why we built Gava. It serves as platform for giving. Our goal is to encourage the community to make generosity a lifestyle,” says Lindaya. “I was raised by generous parents. I remember that they would selflessly extend their hands to anyone who was in need of help—from relatives to the less fortunate. Because of this, I always thought the act of giving was natural for everybody, and that generosity was an innate character to have.”
Gava allows anyone to start their own campaign for whatever cause or advocacy. Whether it’s to help the environment, support a child’s education, or to give aid to indigenous communities. You can easily join and donate. Just sign up and tell your story and start your own campaign. Share it on social media to allow givers to donate to your campaign.
“It’s the power of storytelling and the culture of giving that Filipinos have. Filipinos have natural empathy,” says Lindaya.
Since its launch last year, Gava has already helped almost a thousand families and communities throughout the country.
Jannah Malonzo, 24, was able to raise $1,501.86 to clear her father’s name and free him from detainment caused by injustice by our own authorities.
Karen Cruz suffered from depression. She received a second life with the help of the money raised by her family through Gava Gives. They were able to gather $4,427.06 in total.
Gave Gives’ most successful ongoing campaign to date is the University of Santo Thomas College of Science’ “Project AGham,” which aims to advance the academic and research capability of the college. The project has so far raised $52,606 or 2.6 million pesos.
A small act of kindness can change someone else’s life. Be part of the movement and join Gava in making this world a better place for everyone. “It’s never about the amount. It’s all about the heart,” said Ann Lindayag.