FAITH IN ACTION: CANADIAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS GO ON PHILIPPINE SERVICE TRIP

Friday, January 11, 2019

For the past seven years, the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) has partnered with CFC ANCOP in sponsoring a trip to the Philippines for high school student leaders from different Catholic schools around Toronto.

This school year 2018-2019, from December 27, 2018 to January 9, 2019, 23 students and three teachers flew all the way to Manila to put their faith into action as they visited and built relationships with the people from the different ANCOP communities they visited. The students also helped build houses in an on-going construction at Parañaque City.

This trip is spearheaded by Michael Consul, together with his co-teachers Merle Gonsalves, Celia Ieradi, and Pauline Flanagan. Michael’s father is Bernie Consul, a CFC volunteer at ANCOP Canada.  Through the program, Consul hopes that the students may have a heart for the poor, and will eventually change not just the way they see the lives of these people, but their own lives as well.

In the two weeks of their visit, the students have already built an extraordinary bond with the people in the following ANCOP sites - Our Lady of Banneux (San Mateo, Rizal); Masagana Village (Quezon City); AVANAI Village (Quezon City); ANCOP Vancouver Homes (Paniqui, Tarlac); Starville IV Homes (Baliwag, Bulacan); and PAR 2 Homes (Paranaque City). They also got the chance to visit Smokey Mountain in Tondo and the orphaned kids from Bethlehem House of Bread in Baliwag, Bulacan. One activity during this service trip was participating, for four whole days, in the construction of an on-going site in PAR 2 Homes.

This trip was definitely memorable for both the participants and the families they visited. Hazel Orea, Grade 12 student, realized during the trip how blessed she is, and why she should not take things for granted. The willingness with which the people in the village, especially the kids, opened their homes and their lives to them amazed Jayzelle Ponce, a Grade 11 student.

Putting faith into action may sound ambiguous for some, but this trip is a reminder that even the young can do their share in helping the poor and marginalized, not just with gifts and financial assistance, but more so with the simplest things – by listening and letting them feel that they are loved. (CFC ANCOP Communications /pmb)

 

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