Bayani Challenge 2014: Walang Iwanan
(Heroes’ Challenge: Leave No One Behind)
We did it! From April 9 to June 12, over ONE MILLION VOLUNTEERS answered the call to become heroes for Filipinos in the disaster-hit provinces of the Visayas and Zamboanga. For 63 days across 12 provinces, an estimated 1,751,518 volunteers built houses and fishing boats, refurbished schools, cared for the environment, fed thousands of kids and danced to the same choreography of the now-famous Bayani Challenge song. Never before had we witnessed such a massive display of volunteerism in the country – thank you for helping us make this year’s Bayani Challenge a success!
[Click here to view report]
Every typhoon has a silver lining
“The greater tragedy we are fighting are not the typhoons,
the greater tragedy we are fighting is the lack of caring.” – Kuya Bodoy
When SuperTyphoon Yolanda made its landfall in the Philippines last Nov 8, hundreds of thousands of families experienced so much grief and loss, it was impossible for the rest of the world to turn a blind eye and not care. In the midst of this disaster, something deep was awakened – a desire to reach out and do something for complete strangers in need. Apathy was cracked, and the result was outpouring generosity as various nations found common ground in this desire to help. This inspired Gawad Kalinga, together with its partners in government and in the private sector, to organize a response with the scale a disaster like Yolanda beckoned. We decided to break all of last year’s records [BC 2013 report], and the goal of ONE MILLION VOLUNTEERS was then set.
Creating an impact where needed most – at the grassroots
“Ang pag-asa ay nasa tabi mo.” – Kuya Mark
What Bayani Challenge did extraordinarily well was raise resources and create hope that was immediately and concretely felt by the survivors and the poor in general. From peso and/or dollar amounts, these resources were converted into the first houses and boats turned over and in the ~2,000 houses undergoing construction [read more: Yolanda Reconstruction Report]. Hope came in human form, as warm hands and bodies picked up shovels, cleaned the coastlines and carried children. Empathy was realized in the presence of the volunteers on-ground, the same locations where Yolanda made debris out of homes. We made sure that the Bayani Challenge was the biggest thing in the towns where it happened, because anyway, we needed hope to be at its biggest there.
Everyone takes part for the poor, including the poor
“We’d like to introduce volunteerism as the currency for development.
Because in volunteerism, the poorest can contribute.” – Kuya Luis
And the best part is that the credit goes to everyone, including the survivors who were the primary inspiration of this event. The real cost to volunteerism is time, and this is something every single one of us has to give – if only we chose to. The journey from Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) to Araw ng Kalayaan (Philippine Independence Day) was nothing short of amazing as we saw private partners (Globe, Human Nature, LBC, Canon, Microsoft, Davies and Asia Journal), national agencies (AFP, MMDA PIA, PPA, Pilipinas Natin), local government units of all participating provinces, and our present and future Kapitbahayan make time, come together and show what it means to leave no one behind. This year’s Bayani Challenge was 63 days – roughly 12 times the length of the regular Bayani Challenge – and this only means that greater sacrifices were made. With God’s grace, greater results were also achieved.
Are you ready for next year’s challenge??? [Click here for our ED's message]