An urgent call from the Turkey Association of Ottawa for donations spurred the humanitarian efforts of the Iglesia NI Cristo (INC) or Church of Christ members and volunteers of the Felix Y Manalo Foundation.
In early February 2023, the 7.8 magnitude earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria headlined the world news as one of the biggest disasters that impacted the region.
The calamity devastated many livelihoods and claimed around 50,000 lives, with 100,000 more injured. The earthquake left thousands of collapsed buildings and countless people exposed to severe winter conditions. Hospitals, schools, and major establishments were visibly destroyed.
In Canada, the City of Ottawa and the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey called for medical assistance and donations of emergency goods from the community to help the victims. Donations made on February 23, 2023, to the Turkey Association of Ottawa were eventually flown with the help of the Embassy of Turkey and Turkish Airlines, to regions which were severely stricken by earthquakes in and near Kahramanmaras,
Through the guidance of the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, the volunteers promptly gathered boxes of new blankets, hygiene products, and essential items for babies on short notice for the earthquake victims so that they could help during the ongoing winter weather.
The cold snap in Ottawa did not hinder the brethren from bringing their donations, prepared in almost 24 hours.
The result was an outburst of gratefulness.
Dr. Yusuf Turan Çetiner, Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy Ambassador of the Embassy of Turkey, commended Brother Eduardo V. Manalo and the Felix Y Manalo Foundation for leading the faith organization to continue its outreach programs.
As stated in Dr Y. Turam Cetiner’s statement: “At such times of tragedy, your kind contribution and valuable support are deeply appreciated.”
The City of Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe commended “the team behind the FYM Foundation for their generosity and humanitarian efforts in the wake of the catastrophic event”.