CFC ANCOP, CATHOLIC MISSIONS AUSTRALIA PARTNERED ONCE AGAIN FOR AN IMMERSION PROGRAM AT BANTAYAN ISLAND

Monday, May 20, 2019

Catholic Missions-Australia, with its close ties with CFC ANCOP, once again brought students and teachers from several schools in Australia to experience a week-long immersion at the CFC ANCOP Malbago Community at Madridejos, Bantayan Island, Cebu City. The immersion ran from April 14-19, 2019.

The 15 High School students and three teachers are from FCJ College Benalla and Sacred Heart College Yarrawonga both in Victoria, Australia. They all had a meaningful Holy Week with the villagers from the community while having fun activities like amazing race, mingling with the villagers, playing games with the kids, visiting churches, participating in Holy Week traditions and going around the island with its beautiful beaches.

The visitors surely had amazing experiences, especially with the warm welcome they received from the villagers. Nicole Murphy, a teacher from FCJ College Benalla, tearfully said, "There is so much love and happiness in this village. These people have so little but they give so much." She was also astonished by the faith and resilience of the Filipinos amidst the struggles they are facing.

Some students cannot help but observe the difference between the villagers and those from their home country. Josh Bernett, one of the students, noticed the happy faces of people in the Philippines despite having so little compared to unhappy people in Australia who are having so much. This made him appreciate what he has now, and recognize the need to strive for a happy life.

This immersion program was an experience worth the try, as it is where some people can experience a change of heart. "In a short span of time, it has changed my outlook in life and it has changed so much of me. There is no way I can explain what it is like. One has to experience it," said student Lily Godson.

To make their experience even more fruitful, both schools plan to connect with ANCOP Australia soon for them to sponsor a few more children from the village.

Catholic Missions-Australia will continue its partnership with CFC ANCOP for another course of Immersion Program that will happen in December 2019.—PMB, ANCOP Communications

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