“We are thankful to GK for giving us the opportunity to be of assistance, and together, we can aspire that before 2015, poverty in this country will be reduced significantly. The Filipino can realise his full potential and we in the private sector are more than happy to be part of this,” Edgar Chua, Shell Chairman and President, said during the GK Enchanted Farm Country Development Summit and GK’s 8th anniversary celebration held on October 2, 2011. Chua also expressed his appreciation to the Armed Forces of the Philippines National Development Support Command (NADESCOM) who readily helped in the construction of the road.

Shell has been a staunch partner of GK since the inception of GK villages for the homeless, supporting four Shell-GK villages in Batangas, Southern Leyte and Camarines Sur Provinces. Shell is also working with GK for Bayan-Anihan (Community Harvest), GK’s food sustenance program that aims to eradicate hunger one family at a time by empowering GK communities to produce food for themselves. Twenty-three Shell-GK Bayan-Anihan farms have been established in the Bicol region since 2009. In 2010, on the occasion of GK’s seventh anniversary, Shell staged “The Gift of Art”, an art sale for the benefit of GK that showcased the masterpieces of renowned Filipino artists who are past winners of Shell’s long-running arts programme, the Shell National Students Art Competition.

This year, Shell further expands its partnership with GK by supporting the GK Center for Social Innovation (CSI), which produces affordable and high-quality Filipino products using organic Philippine-grown ingredients, promoting the culture of entrepreneurship among the new generation of social Filipino entrepreneurs and aims to establish socially relevant and high impact businesses that will promote an environment of healthy competition.

One element of the GK CSI, the Enchanted Farm transformed a once idle land into a landscape of vast opportunities by creating sustainable communities through education, entrepreneurship and social tourism. It is the first of 24 CSI sites in the Philippines.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, together with Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio “Sonny” B. Coloma Jr., Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima and Secretary of Trade and Industry Greg Domingo, graced GK’s Countryside Development Summit. Binay lauded GK’s Enchanted Farm and other CSI initiatives that foster community development in the country:“Your invitation said that I would be sharing with you the government shelter sector’s experience on the topic of ’sustainable communities: housing, food and livelihood for relocated informal settlers’. Seeing what you are now doing here, perhaps we might even have a lot to learn from you.”

After the Countryside Development Summit, Shell Chairman and PresidentEdgar Chua, together with NADESCOM, led the blessing of the Shell Road.