A mission team from Toronto, composed by Jun and Malou Clarito and Francis Almeida came to India, and the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar now has about 500 members of Couples for Christ.
“The trauma of the Kandamal violence had a drastic damaging effect on the education of our children, and the CFC collected funds and they are doing great work. They are doing great service for our people,” Barwa said.
The archbishop told Crux that he heard about the ANCOP programs and was keen to have the Educational Sponsorship Program (ESP) initiated in his archdiocese.
ESP is a one on-one-sponsorship program matching donors with children in targeted areas. Initially, 168 children were sponsored in the archdiocese, and currently 563 are receiving aid from ANCOP.
This week, ANCOP’s program head Al Edward Basilio was in India, and told Crux the history of anti-Christian violence in the area was of special significance to him.
“I am really inspired to know the sacrifice of Kandhamal people who witnessed Christ even unto death,” he said.
“The suffering of the people in Kandhamal was horrific: Families destroyed, children looking into a bleak future. ANCOP answers to the cry of the poor and the marginalized by responding to their needs through sending children to school or back to school, helping build their homes, providing for their basic needs,” Basilio said.
In addition to the children sponsored by the group’s education program, they also give assistance to some seminarians studying for the priesthood.
“Faith without work is dead,” Basilio said.
“At CFC, we are building the church of the home and building the church of the poor, through ANCOP. CFC is the heart; and ANCOP is the hands of CFC.”
Basilio is originally from the Philippines but immigrated to Canada. He was in the archdiocese Dec. 5-12, spending three days in Kandhamal.
“The ANCOP movement extends its help to the abandoned and neglected children in partnering with Catholic parishes. We answer the cry of the poor through effective child education and community development programs, anchored on values formation,” he said.
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