The 2017 ANCOP Seminar, Workshop and Training was reminiscent of the 2014 ANCOP Summit when Edmonton played host to brainstorm the KRA (Key Result Areas) that now directs ANCOP Canada. This time, it was to forcefully implement the KRA’s given the impact of Pope Francis’ strong endorsement to “ANswer the Cry Of the Poor”. And so, between the 2017 World Men’s Curling Championship and the Stanley Cup NHL Playoffs, CFC Edmontonians flocked to the Sherbrooke Community League Hall on April 8, 2017 to spend a day full of inspiring talks and participate in workshops. The day was wisely used to pique interest, inspire, motivate and sustain ANCOP goals of fundraising for the benefit of ANCOP projects.
A video entitled “In the Grip of Poverty” set the tone for the day. It told the stories of 3 recipients of Ancop Canada’s support: Elijah Cuevas (Elementary), Joy Abogadie (former scholar and now Teacher) and Rosalie Besana (Beautician and recipient of AVANAI Housing and Livelihood Programs). They were just 3 of the many grateful beneficiaries of ANCOP’s three major programs: Child Sponsorship, Community Development and Relief and Rehabilitation.
Of the three, the Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) is the most successful. It is basically a support for the continued education of deserving children and their families. About 2,606 scholars are being sponsored in the Philippines, 420 in Kenya, 267 in India, 62 in Nigeria and 36 in Tanzania. ANCOP provides education and basic health care to the poorest of the poor. For CAD$38.00 a month, or CAD$456.00 a year, you can sponsor an Elementary to High School scholar and CAD$96.00 a month or CAD$912.00 a year for a College or Vocational Scholar. We also sponsor Seminarians!
In the Community Development Program (CDP), ANCOP does not only transform houses from shanties to fortified structures but also transform family lives from slums to homes through its holistic approach of value formation where beneficiaries are taught the value of cleanliness, proper hygiene, cooperation, honor and respect to their new neighbors, youth engagement, livelihood projects and construction “bayanihan”. With its 14 year history of providing homes for the homeless, ANCOP Canada has been able to form strong partnerships with the Church, several Associations and Business Owners. Examples of Fr. Michael McHugh of the St. Ambrose Church in Cambridge, Ontario and Fr. Carlos Macatangga of Cristo Rei, Mississsauga were awe-inspiring considering their efforts at building communities of more than 100 homes in Bato, Leyte and 17 homes in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, respectively.
It takes only CAD$146.00 per month for 24 months or CAD$3,500.00 to sponsor a home for an economically challenged family or CAD$35,000.00 to sponsor a whole village of 10 houses. It is even cheaper than most of our kitchen renovation projects!!
Our best partners have been from the Business Sector and we have been partnering with Dolce Vita Homes, a local based developer here in Edmonton for more than 4 years now. They have been our partners in our very own ANCOP Edmonton villages ie. 30 houses in Malugay, Paranaque and just recently, 20 houses of ANCOP-Rotary homes along C-5 Paranaque, Philippines.
But perhaps the most striking program is Relief and Rehabilitation. Still reeling from our gigantic efforts to better the lives of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) victims, Ricky talked about awarding homes to 400 surviving families, withstanding political and logistical hardships. But Typhoon “Lawin,” another Signal No. 5 typhoon, struck last year with equally devastating results. So now, efforts towards the rehab of Cagayan and Isabela are underway.
It is also noteworthy that ANCOP Canada, made efforts to help in our own backyard. In a small way, we have donated to victims of the recent Fort McMurray fire in Alberta.
An enjoyable workshop was also used to pump up the courage to promote and defend the ANCOP goals for each participant. Ricky Cuenca’s sister Peachy Forbes came all the way from Nova Scotia to hold that workshop for us.
The highlight of the afternoon was a demonstration of the ANCOP online efforts to make donating a breeze. This was presented with the help of Darryl Bajaro.
Pope Francis said it best: “To ignore the poor is to despise God and that the Lord’s mercy for us is tightly connected to our own mercy for others.”
by Marizza Diaz – CFC-ANCOP Edmonton