Romeo and Estrellita Cipriano of Mississauga, Ontario feel blessed and humbled to be given the opportunity to help ANCOP scholars achieve their dreams of finishing school and having the ability to elevate their family from the clutches of poverty. One of them turned out to be a student with a lot of potential and gifted with high intelligence which would have gone to waste had he not been given a chance to undergo schooling and earn a degree.
“God blesses us with so much here in Canada and we want to share these blessings to these children who also deserve to be given a chance to have a brighter future,” the couple said.
Romeo and Estrellita taught their children Carlo and Isabel at a very young age the importance of giving back and of sharing their blessings to those in need. “We have been looking for an opportunity to do just that,” Carlo said. “ANCOP to me and my sister Isabel became our great outlet to help the poor.”
Growing up in the Philippines had exposed the two to the reality of poverty. “Because of this experience, poverty became the social issue I hold close to my heart,” Isabel explained. “Through ANCOP, I am able to help someone who does not have the means to get himself out of this situation. Through this small contribution, I believe I am able to make a difference.”
The Cipriano family have been sponsoring the education of poor children way back in 2002. When they met their two scholars in 2009, they felt affirmed of the significance of their help as they shared a meal, stories, and encouragement during that fateful meeting.
“It was really a great experience, one that I will cherish forever,” Isabel said. “Seeing the joy and gratitude that they had towards my parents, it made it all worthwhile,” she added.
When the family received news that their scholar graduated Cum Laude in 2014, they were quite happy. They did not have a chance to meet him in person but had received letters from him and got updated about his progress in school. “We were doubly pleased because he graduated the same year Carlo was also graduating from the university. It felt like we had 2 sons who just did,” shared Estrellita.
Carlo and Isabel are currently sponsoring a child each. At first Carlo was hesitant because he did not want to commit to it. For him, it felt like such a massive responsibility because he did not want to let his scholar down in case he lost his part time job at that time. “But when you take that small leap, you realize that your small effort can help hugely a child in need,” he said. “Sponsoring a scholar doesn’t feel like a responsibility anymore. It begins to feel like the most rewarding feeling in the world knowing that you are impacting a child’s future.”
Isabel was also not confident about the sponsorship. However she felt that she has been greatly blessed by God with so much and these blessings are meant to be shared with others in need. “Although at first I was uncertain, not knowing if I will be able to make the payment every month, I later realized that it became a part of me and I did not take notice of the amount I had to put away,” said Isabel. What is important to her is her fulfillment that her small contribution makes a huge difference in someone’s life.
Like their parents, Carlo and Isabel plan to continue sponsoring ANCOP scholars. According to Isabel, she holds this responsibility as a parent would care for his child. “Knowing that these kids are counting on me, I am committed to support them until they finish their studies.”
The family hope that their scholars will persevere and study diligently so that they will finish college/university. They look forward to the day when these kids become professionals so they could help their own siblings study, give their families better life, and reach out to others in need.
By ANCOP International (Canada)