MANILA -- Referring to the proverb "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime", Gawad Kalinga (GK) Capiz Social Enterprise head Tony Morente said as he hopes that their housing beneficiaries don't stay recipients of help, rather they become channels of help and inspiration to others.

"We want our beneficiaries to give back whatever they receive from GK so more people can be helped. In this light, we give them enterprises which we call social enterprises - something they can do for themselves and for others, earning money to support themselves," Morente told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

GK Capiz started in November 2013 after Typhoon Yolanda devastated the province. Under the leadership of GK founder Tony Meloto, the headquarters decided to put up housing for the typhoon victims in 2014 after more than six months of relief operation.

"The houses are donated by schools like ESSEC Business School and the land by good-hearted people. Some are from banks like Metrobank. We already have a total of eight villages that means more than 350 beneficiaries as of today," Morente said.

Seeing the need and importance of teaching the beneficiaries to be self-sufficient, Morente introduced to them the concept of social enterprise.

"This enterprise can be in any form as long as the business has a heart. It treats the community well, fair ka with people, you always think of others over profit because profit will come in time, so the main profit you gain from social entreprise is your help you give to other people. It is not necessarily the money," he said.

Selling of local products like food, clothing, bags, souvenirs and other items enables some of the GK beneficiaries to earn money for themselves and for their community.

GK French volunteers Aline Thuault and Elodie Champseix from ESSEC Business School are currently helping some of the beneficiaries in their soap-making project.

"We're creating organic soap with coconut oil in partnership with DOST (Department of Science and Technology). Also we created the company for the local people in order for them to produce it, do the packaging and sell it to allow them to earn money from it. Save some money on the side so they can get out of proverty," Champseix said.

When asked why they came to GK Capiz to volunteer, Champseix said GK has a partnership with their school and they were inspired by the stories of their friends who have already gone to the Philippines to help.

"We're here to give them hope so they put self-pity aside as GK is already giving them houses and what they need, so we were just trained to enhance their sense of belonging, helping the beneficiaries know each other better and give them extra activity," she added.

Thuault said they basically knew nothing when they got to GK Capiz but she believes that all they need to do is to motivate the beneficiaries to keep working in their village and their social enterprises.

"We just have to pull them to the right direction because they already have the skills and they are the most hardworking people I have ever met and language barrier is not a hindrance for us to communicate with them," she said.

Thuault added that she have never realized before that kind words spoken to people could easily set them up for success.

If she has to choose who among the people she met in GK Capiz inspired her, she said it would be the parents of the children who believe that the housing program and social enterprise are important to their children.

"They’re not selfish at all; they’re working there not just to improve their own lives but also work for the future of their children so they can finish college or go to a big city like Manila," she added.

Morente said he always tell the volunteers that the beneficiaries need money but they are not beggars so through social enterprise he wants them to be empowered, self-sustaining and helping others.

Cautious of the danger of cultivating envy or greed because of the help they give, GK Capiz established a values formation program through which common problems among neighbors are solved and prevented.

"Hindi maiiwasan ang inggitan, pinaliliwanagan namin sila personally para hindi maiba ng landas (Envy can't be avoided, we talk to them personally so they'll stay in the right path), so we advocate the bayanihan spirit, walang iwanan, serbisyo muna bago benepisyo, para Diyos at bayan principles," he said.

To thank and inspire their donors to continue giving, Morente said they send monthly reports to them -- letting them know where they money went and how many families it had helped. (PNA)