“Today, we come together to create a wave of generosity, community engagement and support to True North Aid in their mission of providing practical humanitarian support in the remote communities of Northern Canada.”
Felix Y. Manalo (FYM) Foundation, the charitable arm of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), handed a gift cheque of $20,000.00 along with 100 gift bags containing a school bag, school supplies, double bed sheets, pillows, and flannel blankets to the Indigenous communities in Northern Canada thru a charitable organization, True North Aid.
The Executive Minister of the INC, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, has instructed hundreds of INC local congregations in Canada to reach out to Indigenous communities to encourage harmonious and cooperative relations.
The event was organized at the INC Toronto chapel at 310 Burnhamthorpe Road, Etobicoke, on June 29, 2021, attended by two representatives of True North Aid’s Indigenous Advisor and a Board Member, Kim Sigurdson, and the Executive Director, Kenneth Smid.
The INC District Ministers attended via virtual video conference from their respective ecclesiastical districts: Brother Roland Gaviola of Calgary, a director of the FYM Foundation, Brother Moriel Cadacio of British Columbia, Brother Jose Razon of Ottawa & Quebec.
Brother Voltaire Tamisin from Edmonton gave a welcoming speech and acknowledged the unity of the members in providing critical support and resources towards the Church’s charitable programs.
Brother Glendo Baitan, the district minister of Greater Toronto, handed the commemorative cheque of $20,000.00 to Kim Sigurdson and Kenneth Smid.
Poverty is never neutral; it intersects with many identity categories such as gender, ability, age, citizenship and more. Moreover, it disproportionately affects specific communities, typically vulnerable groups including children, pregnant and nursing women, migrants, and displaced people.
Kim Sigurdson felt “proud” to be a part of the humanitarian event that FYM Foundation hosted.
“The past 16 months were like no other, with the COVID-19 pandemic adding a layer of suffering on top of the news on historical oppression contributing to high poverty levels among Indigenous families in Canada, the cash donation extends a great help to the Indigenous communities,” he said in a personal interview.
The FYM Foundation reached out to True North Aid for its mandate to provide practical humanitarian assistance through initiatives established on eight foundational stones of support. These include self-determination, reconciliation, water, food, health, housing, hope and education, according to their website.
Kenneth Smid, the Executive Director of True North Aid, confirmed, that since 2009 True North Aid’s self-determination activities help inspire and empower Indigenous youth to pursue their dreams and, in turn, empower their people and community.
To commemorate the 107th Anniversary of the Church on July 27, INC members will conduct their virtual Thanksgiving Worship Services. Afterwards, FYM Foundation will render a series of humanitarian events promoting community spirit through purposeful acts of kindness, sharing the Christian values through good deeds, and enabling socio-civic projects:
July 2021, simultaneous outreach programs in Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Toronto
August 2021, Ottawa, Celebration of Giving with Northern Quebec communities
September 2021, Toronto congregations with Northern Ontario communities
October 2021, British Columbia with BC Indigenous communities
The subsequent contributions will consist of critical supplies for newborns/young children, winter wear, mobility device, school supplies, and food essentials.
The partnership between FYM Foundation and True North Aid will provide direction and leadership in engaging with the Indigenous groups: First Nations, Metis, and Inuit.
The Foundation commends organizations for their resilience in serving their communities, even during the depths of the Covid-19 crisis. Their hallmark of stability continuously inspires the FYM Foundation to become a beacon of hope.
2021 June 29, Toronto
Attending the virtual video conference from their respective ecclesiastical districts were INC District Minister Roland Gaviola of Calgary, a director of the FYM Foundation, District Minister Moriel Cadacio of British Columbia, District Minister Jose Razon of Ottawa & Quebec, and Brother Voltaire Tamisin, District MInister of Edmonton, who gave the welcoming speech (photo by Artiese)
Kenneth Smid, the Executive Director of True North Aid, explains that self-determination activities help inspire and empower Indigenous youth to pursue their dreams and, in turn, empower their people and community.