Day Three of the Gawad Kalinga Social Business Summit – “The Swinburne Students struggling in the heat, and eating their weight in icy poles”


In the wise words of some singer, at some point, “I’m feeling hot hot hot!”
Today was a scorcher, made even hotter by the fact that they removed the air-cons. Luckily, us Swinburne students are resourceful and managed to help the icy pole and snow cone stall make a profit through bulk purchasing.

A bittersweet feeling surrounded the last day of the Gawad Kalinga Social Business Summit. Not only has it been an educational experience, but also an experience for the heart and soul. It is impossible not to feel moved and inspired after listening to so many people from around the world speak so passionately and dedicated about the GK cause and plight of the poor.

The GK Mission is “Ending poverty for 5 million families by 2024”. Just from attending this summit, for 3 short days, I realise how multi-faceted GK is and just how many different levels and aspects there are to Gawad Kalinga.

Tony Meloto, father and founder of Gawad Kalinga, gave the closing speech of the summit. His speech was one that truly came from the heart; you could feel that he believed every single world (a quality that most Australian politicians need). A few words that Tony Meloto said stuck with me and I keep replaying them in my head. He said, “If people live in sub-human conditions (for example, poverty) they adopt a predatory behaviour and lifestyle”. These words have stuck with me because I had never heard such powerful words used to describe the life of those stricken by poverty.

Overall, the Gawad Kalinga Social Business Summit was not only an eye opening experience, but a heart opening experience as well.

Though of the day: There is less than 25cm between your brain and heart.
(Stole that fact from a French businessman at the summit, merci Frenchy!)

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