Tala Leprosarium in Caloocan City is one of the eight in the country which serves as a sanitarium and hospital for patients with leprosy. Leprosy or Hansen’s disease (HD) is curable and declared eliminated as a public health concern. However, patients and even those who have long recovered continue to be regarded as “unclean” and faced discrimination by the society and even by their own families.
CFC ANCOP together with its partners are trying to battle the social stigma marked by leprosy. A community of poor families including healed HD patients are living together in Fr. Paul Foulon – PCCF ANCOP Community in Tala, Caloocan City. PCCF or Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation is one of the donors. PCCF ANCOP is a village with sixty (60) homes funded by various partners like Fr. Paul Foulon and the Holy Rosary Parish in USA, PCCF, and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.
The PCCF has been visiting the ANCOP Tala Community for five consecutive years now not just for the nineteen houses and families they turned-over two years ago but to the whole community. Recently (January 22, 2018), The PCCF team, represented by Mr. Romy Rafael (President) and Ms. Rosemer Enverga (Executive Vice President), came all the way from Canada this time for the unveiling of the marker of the Sen. Tobias Enverga Jr. multi-purpose hall (MPH). PCCF also funded the MPH and is now nearing its construction completion.
EVP Enverga, is the surviving wife of the late senator of Canada and founder of PCCF, Tobias “Jun” Enverga Jr. In her emotional message to the homepartners, she mentioned the kindness of the late senator and how he advocated in championing the poor especially in the Philippines and his untiring support to the programs of CFC ANCOP. She also pledged to continue the work by providing more houses for the families in need.
PCCF entourage includes the winners of the PCCF beauty pageant- PCCF Little Miss Philippines Canada 2017 Marian Barcase, PCCF Miss Teen Philippines Canada 2017 Jenna Ramos, PCCF Miss Philippines Canada 2017 Raeshan Saeed and PCCF Mrs. Philippines Canada 2017 Mrs. Laila Elcano.
The pageant helped them raise funds for the projects and the winners excitingly interacted with the homepartners, distributed some goodies and pledged their continued support to PCCF and CFC ANCOP.
Bro. Ricky Cuenca, ANCOP Canada President and member of the CFC International Council, also graced the event with the team from ANCOP Canada. With gladness he said, “This is a great day for us to honor and glorify the Lord. And this is a great day for us to give back to the community.”
To expand the reach of support, PCCF pledged to build 15 more houses by this year to uphold the said initiatives as an annual project with CFC ANCOP.
By Diana Mendoza and Romy Medina