2018-19AA Lira Sarmiento Capco

AA for Blacktown

Blactown

A generous person will prosper;
Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

-Proverbs 11:25

My name is Lira Capco, from Blacktown NSW Chapter. Married for 12 years to my Husband Edwin. We joined CFC in 2013. We have been blessed with two wonderful boys. Our eldest is Liam now 10 years old and Lucas 4 years old. They are our inspiration to be the best that we can be every day.

Growing up, my parents had always taught us the importance of helping others no matter what the circumstances may be.  As my Papa would always say, any act of kindness will go a long way.  It doesn’t always necessarily mean giving money, it can be sharing our time, talents or just simply being nice can uplift others.  This is how we want to raise our kids as well  in an environment where sharing and caring happen.

I would pray to God to always show me the opportunity to help.  When I was asked to be the ANCOP Ambassador for our chapter, I said yes without thinking twice because I knew that this was the answer to my prayer. 

 I may not be the best person for this role, but I believe that with God’s grace, guidance, and all your support I will be an instrument to enrich the lives of our less fortunate brothers and sisters.  This is my way of giving back to the community for all the countless blessings that God has been showering me and my family.  I will forever be grateful for this opportunity. May God be praised!

Lira's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018Ancop Valentines

2018-19AA Bobby Edmilao

AA for Hawkesbury

You can make a difference

Please visit Bobby's Everyday Hero Page
Help him reach his fundraising goal: $1,500

Hawkesbury

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will repay him for his deed.

-Proverbs 19:17

I am Bobby Edmilao and I am the Hawkesbury Chapter ANCOP Ambassador for 2018. I joined
Couples for Christ in 2007 and with the help of my lovely wife, Grace, served as Household Head and Kids for Christ Coordinator. We are blessed with four wonderful children who give us enormous joy and pride.

During my student days at University of Santo Tomas, I was a member of Pax Romana a religious student arm dedicated to promoting social justice and Catholic value formation inside and outside of the university.  Through various outreach community services, I witnessed the dire situations of the people in the slum areas of Manila and this made me realize the extent of poverty in our country. My eyes were further opened to the plights of the poor when I was doing rural service as a medical student in Bulacan and Quezon province. I have witnessed how poverty has stripped patients with dignity and hope and made them physically, mentally and spiritually sick. This ignited my passion to help the disadvantaged and since then joined numerous medical surgical missions all over the country and performed free cataract surgeries.

When I moved to Australia in 2005, I was privileged enough to continue this work by being a Paramedic, and now I am helping people with alcohol and drug addiction under the NSW Justice Health program.

I thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity to serve through the ANCOP Ambassador program. And I appeal to your generous hearts to help us raise funds  so together, we can help break the cycle of poverty through provision of good education and values formation to underprivileged children.

“Education is a human right with immense power to transform;
on its foundation, rest the cornerstones of freedom and democracy and sustainable development.”

- Kofi Anan

Bobby's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018Ancop Valentines

2018-19AA Helen Villalba-Festejo

AA for Handmaids of the Lord

You can make a difference

Please visit Helen's Everyday Hero Page
Help her reach her Fundraising Goal: $10,000

Helen Villalba-Festejo

“Learn to have less so that others could have more”. “We are but channels of God’s kindness.” 
“Share the little you have and it will be returned tenfold”.  

My name is Helen Festejo, from Handmaids of the Lord (HOLD) Parramatta-Blacktown Area. I am married to Macario Festejo III for 23 years now and we have been blessed with 2 daughters, Julienne 19, and Ysabella 14. I joined HOLD in July 2014.   My husband could not join me then because of work commitments.

ANCOP stands for Answering the Cry of the Poor. Of all its works, the Education Sponsorship Program is closest to my heart. I am convinced that Education offers hope and frees people from poverty. To the impoverished areas of the world, this is a gateway to social transformation.  When I was shown the work of ANCOP and asked to be the messenger, I could not turn my gaze elsewhere.  I am humbled to be called to serve God and His people in this capacity. It was also a timely invitation in this Year of the Poor. I feel that this is my call to action.

The plight of the poor is not new to me.  While I was not born materially rich, neither could I say that I was born poor. But my parents were.

 

Both our parents drummed in our heads - that it is through Education that they got out of poverty.  That "education breaks the cycle of poverty " was my father’s catchphrase. We grew up witnessing people turn up at our doorstep  usually in the early hours of morning when we would all be busy getting ready for school.  Sometimes, we would be instructed to put some rice in a small bag, and hand to the visitor; while my mom would hand out some money.  In those times, my siblings and I did not think we had much to be able to give, in fact the life we had was modest but our parents always said: “Learn to have less so that others could have more”, “We are but channels of God’s kindness” , “Share the little you have and it will be returned tenfold”.  

I did not fully realize the magnitude and fruits of those little actions until I went home in 2005 to bury my father.  Mothers, fathers, beneficiaries of my father’s kindness came in numbers.  “I owe my life to your family”; “My daughter /son would not have gone to school without the help of your family’.  “I am where I am now because your family helped me”. Many of them now have decent jobs, living their dreams and more importantly paying forward. Kindness is being duplicated and multiplied.  Indeed, the blessings came not only in tenfold, but in hundredfold! Thousandfold!   And we have been truly enriched by them.

Because of this, I vowed to continue their legacy: to help where I can whenever I can.  When I was invited to be an ANCOP Ambassador - I said ‘Yes’ without hesitation - although my husband and I are already supporting a similar program in the Philippines.  I did not think of how difficult it would be for me to fit this humungous task in my already busy schedule. I could only think of the many people who could benefit from this endeavour. I could only count in my head how many people can become agents of change, if they are made aware of this mission. And I can only think of the many people whose lives will be improved as a result of this effort.  I can’t imagine the work to be free from obstacles, but I believe in my heart that if this is the work of God, He will send people to help me.  

 

 “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” 

~ St Augustine of Hippo

Helen's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018Ancop Valentines

2018-19AA Dr. Gemma Victorino-Perez

AA for Western Deanery

You can make a difference

Please visit Gemma's Everyday Hero Page
Help her reach her Fundraising Goal: $10,000

Western Deanery

A blessed day to you brothers and sisters.
My name is Gemma Perez from Western Deanery Chapter, currently working as a General Practitioner. I have been married to my husband Roy for 22 months now, and I've never been happier.

For some time though, I’ve felt I needed to reconnect or rekindle my personal relationship with our Lord Jesus. I felt renewed and joyful after we graduated from the Christian Life Program, in August last year.  I wanted to do more, but didn’t quite know what to do. A couple of weeks before I was asked to be an ambassador, (during our Household meeting) we talked about being called by God, and how He always equips the person He has called to serve. At first I was reluctant to accept the call — because I felt I am not the right person for it. I prayed for discernment and I got my answer. This is it: this is the one I’ve been praying for.

This is God’s gift to me. And this is also my chance to give something back to God, and His underprivileged children — for all the blessings and graces He has given me and my family.

I’m hoping that with this opportunity, I will be able to return, even but a fraction of His love and kindness to others.

I chose to rekindle the gift.

It was offered and I accepted.

And now I will use and embrace this gift to thank, praise and glorify His name. To God be all the glory. 

Gemma's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018Ancop Valentines
ThankYou

Message of Thanks from ANCOP

As we start another year, we look back at 2017 with sincere gratitude. We thank all of you who supported ANCOP’s mission with the poor. We are blessed to have new commercial partners as well as having solid support from existing external relationships. We are also grateful for new volunteers joining on their own initiatives to raise funds for our work. In 2017 we had seen a surge of kind-hearted individuals setting up their own ANCOP fund raising sites in the various fun run events throughout the year. Their generosities were doubly matched by donations from their families, friends and colleagues. These fun runs fuelled about 25% of the funds received last year to sustain our work.

We were also pleasantly surprised by the outpour of donations from different activities such as movie events, birthday celebrations, garage sale, cook out, and others. We treasure these events as they also raised awareness out to a bigger audience of the work that we do. Combined with the regular donations from those who pledged towards the continuous education of our beneficiaries, these generous labours accounted 47% of our cash inflow last year.

Lastly, we had our biennial car raffle event last year which generated the remaining 28% of our inflow of funds last year. For everyone who supported our mission through their labour, talent, treasures and prayers, and for our unsung hero-volunteers on the ground who help us run our work in our beneficiary areas, please accept our sincere gratitude and prayers.

With these, ANCOP was able to sustain its work of providing hope through education. In 2017, our partnership of shared scholarship grant with Don Bosco Technological Institute in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG) officially materialised with seven ANCOP students enrolling in a technical and vocational course of their choice. We also started sponsoring the training of 20 women in Lae, PNG, to a sewing class which they finished in May 2017. With an average age of 40 and educational attainment of Year 9, these women are now inspiration to others that it’s never too late to acquire new skills and become productive members of the community. Shortly after their graduation, a school already contracted them to sew uniforms for students and staff and after that, towards the end of last year, they’ve been engaged by a cement factory to sew cement bags. Yet despite being busy using their new trade for livelihood, these women are so willing to share their blessings and are even volunteering to teach anyone who are wanting to learn the same skill.

Finally, last year we also sponsored the cost of schooling for an additional 48 children in the orphanage of St Martin de Porres in Bulacan, Philippines. This came about after a number of ANCOP volunteers from different states of Australia had an immersion program in the Philippines in January 2017 and had an encounter with our scholars there, as well as their teachers, carers and administrators of the place. The orphanage is home to abandoned and endangered children who end up to be “street kids” of some of Metro Manila’s most notorious cities. The orphanage, about 67 kilometres south of Manila, runs its own school to deter these children from running away again and going back to their old dangerous lives.

Thanks to you, our work goes on and many lives continue to weave better and beautiful stories. We look forward to working with all of you again in 2018. May God bless you all as you allow yourselves to be channels of blessings for others.

Our beneficiaries (end of 2017)

Philippines Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands
361 Primary, Secondary and Tertiary 12 University
5 Cornerstone classes 30 Diploma, Higher School and Vocational
94 Primary and Secondary
102 Preparatory to School Program (PNG)

 

 

2016-17AA Qwayne Guevarra

AA for Singles for Christ

Quayne Guevarra

Hello! My name is Qwayne. I am the 2016 SFC ANCOP Ambassador Australia.

I was born in the Philippines and moved to Australia as a one year old, with my parents hoping for my brother and I to receive a good education. Their sacrifices have helped me understand the value of education. Without the opportunity to be educated my life would be very different.
I fly back to the Philippines often to visit family. Whenever I visit, I struggle most when I witness the realities of living in a third world country.

Good education, for many children, is simply a dream - too far to reach.

The Year of Mercy ,declared by Pope Francis, calls us to something deeper – to conversion in our own lives so that we can bring the face of God’s mercy to the world. How good it is for us for our generation to be called to be more merciful and generous!
CFC ANCOP (Answering the Crying of the Poor) is an organisation I wholeheartedly believe in. Their work paves the way for disadvantaged children to receive an education and as such opportunities for a better life for themselves and their family.
I am confident that education creates hope – a hope that changes the world. Education is a gift that is so vital in a child's development, but on a grander scale, so necessary in creating a world that is good, true and beautiful.

Qwayne's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2016-17AA Yvette Nielo

AA for Hawkesbury, Sydney

Yvette Nielo

Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…” 

Never see a need without doing something about it."

- St. Mary McKillop

I’m Yvette Nielo. I work for government of NSW as an Accountant. I’ve been married to my loving husband for more than six years now, we got married on a very special date 10 October 2010. After looking at spreadsheets and balancing numbers on workdays, I unwind by balancing flowers on my free time on weekends. My love for flowers has inspired me to put up my “hobbysness” Endorphin Boosters. I do flower arrangements for friend’s and relatives weddings and birthdays.

Our journey in the Couples for Christ began in 2011 when we first attended the Christian Life Program. Since then, we have experienced first hand the love of God and the fellowship within the community. Through the inspiration of our brothers and sisters, we have felt the spiritual nourishment that helped us grow in our faith.

My husband and I both grew up in poor families. Our parents would struggle to make both ends meet and could barely afford to send us to school. Thanks be to God, through patience, hard work and help from others, I was able to complete my Bachelors Degree in Accountancy and Masters in Business Administration as a full scholar. Both my husband and I went through the same struggles and this is what inspired us to try and give back to those who are now going through the same experiences. If not for our scholarships, we would not have finished school and effectively denied the chance at a better life.

 

As a token of our profound gratitude, we have decided to share in the charitable works of ANCOP in giving scholarships to students from disadvantaged families. We believe that by spreading the word and encouraging others to the cause, we are helping give those deserving students a chance at creating a bright future for themselves and their families.

(Yvette Nielo Amabssador for Hawkesbury Chapter)

Yvette's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2016-17AA Milane Cawaling-Lungu

AA for Western Deanery, Sydney

Milane Cawaling-Lungu

"Lord, let me be your hand to share. Let me be your mouth to speak." 

I am Milane Cawaling-Lungu. My other half is Doru, an Aussie. Being a housewife, I find myself learning and doing some homemaking things to do like cooking, baking, gardening and sewing. Making fashion jewelries and cards has become a hobby too. When I came here in Australia I made it a point that I can do something for this beautiful country, not only to make myself busy but most of all to become a part of the community where I live. That was why, even as a tourist then, I started my volunteer job in the Fairfield council's nursery garden. I just stopped a few months ago though. I do Scripture teaching too, as they say, " A teacher will always be a teacher."

My husband and I joined the Couples for Christ in Fairfield unit last 2013. Our membership has enriched our marriage and helps Doru in his growth as a Catholic as well since he just had his Baptism in that same year. It also gives me support in my life here being new in this country. I would say, our CFC community has been an inspiration.

 

Working with the poor isn't new to me. Even before as a member of the parish youth group, I already shared myself in organizing and facilitating youth activities; going from chapel to chapel to raise funds so we could support our young people to join. I joined our choir to raise funds in building our church and teach Catechism in our nearby community. For 20 years I taught in the University of San Carlos high school department in Cebu City and doing some outreach activities or being with my students in their immersion with the poor families exposed me to the plight of the poor. But my visit to the public hospital and doing my personal outreach like giving food to the carers was my most touching experience. Now, I am still doing this every December, this time with Doru.

The charity arm of CFC , the ANCOP is such an admirable thing. My husband and I have always been supportive to its mission, I remember packing school supplies for the students last year, it was a heartwarming experience. Being chosen to serve as ambassador in our chapter is both an affirmation to my desire in making myself available to the poor and a challenge to pursue God'calling to be His hand and mouth, to share and to speak. When I was in high school, I was able to receive a scholarship grant from a foundation and in college, the government funded my education. I know how it is to be a receiver being a student then, now that I am called to help support the youth in their quest for education, I can't be happier than to give back what I received. This time , I am the giver. But, I can only do so much, I need you to be with me. Let us do this together, let us be one body with Christ. And let us do this now so when the time will come when God will ask us what we have done to the least of our brothers, we'll be ready to answer Him with a happy heart. To God be the glory.

Milane
(Milane Cawaling-Lungu  Ambassador for Western Deanery Chapter)

Milane's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery