ANCOP is brought for the first time to Parliament Hill in Ottawa the nation’s capital on June 19th. This is historic for ANCOP Canada as it brings forward its global work of helping the poor in the seat of the government of Canada. This momentous event initiated by CFC ANCOP Ottawa opens up an opportunity for ANCOP to raise the government’s awareness of its work and to rally support for its shelter and child education sponsorship programs.
The ANCOP launching is a prelude to the annual ANCOP Walk slated in August in major cities across the country including Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Hamilton, Lethbridge, Montreal, Ottawa, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Windsor, Winnipeg and Yellowknife.
Done annually, ANCOP Walk is a major fundraising event of ANCOP International Canada to put up funds to build homes for poor families and to send poor children to school. ANCOP Walk aims to encourage people to get involved and to campaign for funds. When people participate, each step they take symbolizes solidarity and support with those who have less in life and living in extreme poverty.
The launching materialized through the initiative of Filipino-Canadian Senator Tobias (Jun) Enverga who has always been a strong supporter of ANCOP. The senator’s colleagues in Parliament Hill took time to participate in this event.
Distinguished guests included the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister of State (Democratic Reform), the Honourable Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, the Honourable Senator Mobina Jaffer, and Philippine Consul General in Ottawa, Eric Tamayo. Members of local organizations including Migrante Ontario, Archdiocese of Ottawa, the media, and Patricia Marsden-Dole were also present.
Leaders of CFC ANCOP from Ottawa and Toronto came in huge number recognizing the significance of the occasion. The CFC ANCOP team felt welcome as each registered, given a name tag and officially welcomed by the organizers amidst tight security. Rhea Rivilla, a member of Couples for Christ Ottawa emceed the program.
Minister Pierre Poilievre in his keynote speech highlighted the federal government’s ongoing support for the poor and its commitment to help not only the poor in Canada but also the poor in other countries. “Canada is a great place to live and everyone is welcome here,” the Minister said. He also shared that he is proud of the Filipino community and what it has done for this country. He expressed support of ANCOP and the forthcoming ANCOP Walk encouraging everyone to continue the good work.
Senator Thanh Hai Ngo is an advocate for freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. He spoke highly of Senator Enverga’s passion and dedication to help the poor, and he, too supports ANCOP’s work. He said that he is encouraged by the contribution of the Filipino community in Canada and by the work they have done to uplift the poor.
Senator Mobina Jaffer representing the province of British Columbia, chairs the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights. She works to engage communities in protecting human rights, celebrating Canada’s diversity, and promoting progress. Senator Jaffer spoke about her experiences working with Filipinos and highlighted the importance of family values, generosity and hospitality especially among Filipino families. She stated that Filipinos in Canada are well known for their Christian beliefs, values and for sharing their home. She is proud to be associated with the Filipino community and is pleased to know about ANCOP Canada’s initiatives to help the poor in the Philippines and other parts of the world.
Senator Jaffer ended her remarks with a heartwarming statement, “I salute you (ANCOP supporters) for the work that you do and before you sleep tonight, I want you to think about the child who sleeps well through the night because of the help and support you provide to him/her through ANCOP.”
Philippine Consul General in Ottawa Eric Tamayo thanked everyone in the hall for their presence, and for their efforts and support in helping the poor of the Philippines. He was pleased to know that there is much support from Canada to help the poor. He encouraged CFC ANCOP to contact him if they need his help on anything.
ANCOP International Canada Marketing Director, Gabby Consulta gave the audience a bird’s eye view of the purpose, goal and vision and mission of ANCOP. A situationer on the life of the poor was presented in a number of videos that showed the life and plight of the children and families living in poverty in the Philippines. Mr. Consulta also showed how ANCOP has grown and developed over the years supporting poor families and children in the Philippines, India, and the African countries of Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya.
“To date, more children and families are being lifted out of poverty because of the generous support of Canadians,” Gabby said. He urged everyone present to do what other Canadians have done and continue to do so – to sponsor a child and join the ANCOP Walk in Ottawa on August 22, 2015.
The launch ended with an insightful sharing from TJ David who told a story about his mission and passion to reach out to the poor through ANCOP. “It is very rewarding to experience the life of a poor family who has none and still be able to smile despite the challenges of every day,” Mr. David said.
By Mariel Velasco, CFC ANCOP Ottawa