INC launches Aid to Humanity in Canada

May 19 in Winnipeg. Kevin Lamoureux, MP for Winnipeg North reads the Certificate of Message, thanking Bro. Eduardo V. Manalo and the FYM Foundation for their years of hard work and charity for the people of Manitoba. Photo: M. de Jesus

“The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) has set its sights on the global campaign against poverty. It’s a cause we’ve committed to champion and sustain as a church.”

This was the remark of Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo after the INC conducted its most recent outreach activities in various Canadian cities, describing them as “much bigger than our initial Aid to Humanity efforts last year in North America.”

The church provided assistance to marginalized groups in Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver this May through the worldwide “Lingap” program of the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation.

INC General Auditor Glicerio B. Santos, Jr. noted that “We’ve heightened our assistance efforts for immigrants, indigenous peoples, female lone-parent families, members of racialized groups, persons with disabilities and other sectors where poverty incidence is higher based on Canadian population statistics. Our focus, like before, is on the needy and vulnerable.”

In Winnipeg Manitoba last May 19, INC gathered beneficiaries from the Turtle Island Recreation Center, Ma Mawi Chi Itata Center, Norquay Center Children’s Orphanage and the Indigenous Children’s Orphanage and distributed 3,000 care packages.  

Montreal followed the next day with 500 bags benefiting the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Orphan Sun (Soleil des Orphelins), La Société de Développement Social, YMCA, The Open Door, Old Brewery Mission Hall, La Maison Benoit Labre, Mile End Community Mission and La Rue de Femme. Aid recipients also received checks on top of packages which had fleece blankets, socks, hats, bath towels, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, canned foods, noodles and ready-to-eat meals.

The May 21 Ottawa leg meanwhile included the Matthew House Doreen and Ottawa Food Bank, as well as the Le Gîte Ami, L’Ami de l’Entraide and Moisson Outauais shelters, which all received similar financial assistance and care packages.

On May 23, the foundation has   prepared thousands of care packages and visited Maskwacis, Alberta, home to the Crees of Maskwacis, a collective of four First Nations groups: Samson Cree, Ermineskin Cree, Louis Bull Tribe, and Montana First Nation. Ten food banks, health and friendship centers received financial assistance. Montana First Nation Chief, Leonard StandingontheRoad, spoke of “friendship and acceptance” as he welcomed the members of the Church of Christ in their town.

May 20. The FYM Foundation visited Maskwacis, Alberta, home to the Crees of Maskwacis, a collective of four First Nations groups: Samson Cree, Ermineskin Cree, Louis Bull Tribe, and Montana First Nation. Ten food banks, health, and friendship centers received financial assistance. Photo:  J. Lopez
May 23. The Toronto organizations receiving financial assistance were Flemingdon Food Bank, North York Harvest Food Bank, East Scarborough Storefront, and Redwood, a women’s shelter. Photo:  M. De Jesus

Similar well-attended initiatives were held in Toronto and Vancouver on May 23 and 25, respectively.

Brief programs were held at the venues, which included messages from local civic and political leaders. A film showing on the INC’s global push for expansion followed, including a presentation highlighting the church’s outreach activities in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Australia-New Zealand.

“These activities fall under the umbrella of our Lingap sa Mamamayan program. Our Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo strives to make our North American humanitarian presence stronger and more responsive. His singular vision of alleviating poverty in various parts of the world is what drives and inspires us,” Santos Jr. explained.

The INC went full blast with its North American Aid to Humanity efforts in 2018. Three big “Fight Poverty” activities were held in Long Island, New York, and Hartford, Connecticut in the United States and in Toronto, Canada in September last year, targeting low-income localities. The INC General Auditor stressed that the aid efforts were equally focused on Filipinos, especially Overseas Filipino Workers.

In late 2018 and early 2019, big Aid to Humanity and Lingap sa Mamamayan activities were held in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Macau and Hong Kong, with close to 8,000 OFWs attending. More aid activities are planned.

“Assistance is given regardless of nationality, gender, religious and political affiliation. Every day in many parts of the world, there are lives to improve and souls to nourish. Our Executive Minister and the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation do their best to make the INC a meaningful and helpful presence where poverty needs to be addressed,” the General Auditor explained. – Tess de Jesus, INC

The Children’s Orchestra Society

(C) The FilAm 2019

Leave a Reply