“Many times, humanitarian and development workers only sow the seeds. We do not get to see the fruit of our labor. So, one has to have a deep sense of calling and optimism … and hope.”Peter Gape, National Director of World Vision Columbia
Those are the words that echo from the heart of Peter Gape, National Director of World Vision Columbia. This passionate change maker in Latin America is actually Filipino.
Home-grown in Mindanao, Peter initially thought that life would lead him to a career in politics. After completing his university degrees in Church-State Studies and International Studies, he wanted to go out and change the world. After realizing the dynamics involving political service, he understood clearly that the path for him to change the world was through humanitarian service and development work.
The Homes that Peter Built
“I started as a volunteer with habitat for Humanity and was sent to Guatemala and Honduras, where I spent 2 years learning Spanish and being involved in the community.”A very young Peter with Habitat for Humanity’s foremost volunteer, former US President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter
Peter found a strong foundation for his career in Habitat for Humanity International. From being a volunteer, he was asked to support the national program of Trinidad and Tobago. This led to an inspiring career in various roles – from National and Regional Directorship to Global Leadership roles, in different locations – from the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office based in Costa Rica to the Asia Pacific Office in Bangkok and the Global Headquarters in Atlanta,USA.
“Surely Habitat was instrumental in my growth as a development professional and allowed me to deepen my commitment to my personal calling.”– Peter Gape, Habitat for Humanity Advocate and Champion
THE WORLD’s VISION IN PETER’S EYES
He found his way back home to the people who opened their arms to him when he was younger, and back to the region his wife, Aurora calls home. Joining World Vision, he first served as National Director of Guatemala, focusing on child protection, health and nutrition, education and livelihood. He transitioned to serve the vulnerable children and families in Columbia while having also having the opportunity to serve the Venezuelan migrant community as the National Director of World Vision Columbia.
“I felt like I needed to be closer to the people I desire to serve. Aurora and I consider it a blessing to be part of the work that serves the needs of these vulnerable population, and we are convinced that at this period in our lives, we are called to serve here in Columbia.“Peter Gape
While the world works together to rise above the global Covid19 health crisis, Peter and his team in World Vision Columbia sets initiatives to help vulnerable families and children in need.
THE ROCK THAT PETER STANDS ON
The path of sustainable development is not easy. To be involved directly with alleviating poverty, empowering vulnerable children and communities, ensuring their protection and responding to their emergency needs present risks and sometimes a lot of danger. Beyond just having the heart to serve the poor and the vulnerable, it requires study, training and hands on field experience.
” It definitely requires a sense of ‘calling’ because it requires personal sacrifices and fighting for systemic roots of injustice, poverty and inequality.”Peter Gape
Sustainable development work requires an understanding of the state of the world we live in and of us as a people who inhabit it. It requires a strong understanding of politics, economics, sciences and even business management skills. For Peter, while having the heart for helping others is a critical ingredient, it has to come with a deep understanding of the problem and the solutions required.
THE GLOBAL CHALLENGE
” The achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is my dream for our world. Will I live to see the full achievement of it? Probably not, but I will be happy if I live to see that we are heading towards that direction. ”– Peter Gape
An optimist by nature, Peter spends time with the younger generation to build leaders who will live to see the fulfillment of the global goals. He believes that today’s generation of boldness and confidence, coupled with wisdom from experienced leaders make a powerful formula to achieve a more sustainable future.
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