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

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

2016-17AA Maricet Blancia

AA for Bankstown, Sydney

maricet

Hi, I’m Maricet Blancia. I have been in the community since 2001. I joined SFC in 2001 and was even a Gawad Kalinga Ambassador in 2005. My sister, brothers and 3 cousins also joined SFC. I got married in 2006 and have a 9 year old boy and 8 year old girl. We joined CFC in 2008.

I am a Nurse Unit Manager in Campbelltown Hospital. I love to watch movies, read, exercise and travel.

I grew up in an area in the Philippines where the poor lived in rubbish dumps. My family was fortunate enough to migrate to Australia and have a better life. As a CFC member,

it is part of our faith in action to help the poor

not just in the Philippines but in Solomon Islands and Papa New Guinea. Please help me by donating any amount in order for us to continue our work in helping and working with poor.

I became ANCOP Ambassador for Auburn Bankstown Chapter because as a CFC member, we want to make a small difference in someone's life and we believe that empowering the poor through education is a small step in making this world a better place.

Maricet's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2016-17AA Francis Bautista

AA for Blacktown, Sydney

Francis Baustista

I believe I’ve been called to share my blessings with those around us, particularly those in poverty stricken areas in developing countries.

This year I am honoured to be an ambassador to help raise funds and awareness for CFC ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor) Australia and its cause. All proceeds will go towards sponsoring the education of underprivileged children in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

Francis' ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2016-17AA Glo Vergara

AA for Darwin

Gloria Vergara

I can do things you cannot,  YOU can do things I cannot, TOGETHER, We can do great things..

My name is Glo Vergara, married to Rom Vergara for 15 years and together we are Ancop Coordinator and ambassador in NT. We attended CLP in 2012  in Katherine and our faith became stronger and inspired by everyone in the CFC community from Darwin. In 2013, Katherine YFC camp started and we accepted the challenges of being a youth coordinator. In November 2015 we moved to Darwin because of our work commitments. We now belong to the household of AGT in CFC Darwin             

Back in the Philippines, I belong to a big family with 5 siblings. We were poor in a big family with little resources. We experienced how hard life was but felt very fortunate and blessed at the same time, having a hardworking parent whose only thoughts were the good future of their children. I became a dentist in the Philippines.

My husband had the same experience having a bigger family with 9 siblings but also completed university and became an architect.

We knew and acknowledged all our blessings from above and we became open to any services we can provide. I left my private practice and worked as a school dentist in remote schools in Quezon province. I also joined in providing free dental services when there was medical mission. Rom on that time was also very active in our parish church.

We migrated to Australia in 2005 and restarted a new life with different jobs. After settling in we became fortunate and blessed again to study in line with our previous profession. Currently I am working as a dental hygienist at NDC Darwin and Rom a project manager in the building section in NT Government. We have two children, 14 y/o son and 10 y/o daughter.

We gave him our full trust and He never failed us. Therefore, whenever we are called, we just let Him lead us. We wanted to give back however small it is. As Mother Theresa of Calcutta said;

               I can do things you cannot

                              YOU can do things I cannot

                                             TOGETHER, We can do great things..

We accepted this ambassadorship task again to contribute small things and we are hoping we can do great things together for our disadvantaged families.

We believe and wanted to support one of the mission of CFC ANCOP Australia, “to provide education to the unfortunate or disadvantaged children”. We hope for them to feel how great our God is all the time, for them to see hope and trust God to the fullest.

Let us hold our hands together and fulfil this mission, make a difference and change the face of the earth.

Thank you and may God bless everyone always.

Rom and Glo Vergara

Rom & Glo's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery