By Roxanne Rosquita and Greg Besa, JP
WELLINGTON – On the 31st October 2020, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) conducted the Aid to Humanity undertakings through the Felix Y. Manalo (FYM) Foundation, the charitable arm of the Church, which benefited 42 different community and religious organisations across New Zealand.
Such humanitarian endeavours, recognised by Member of Parliament Ginny Andersen as “a noble act of kindness and care done for people”, were conducted in six different locations in the country.
A total of 1,991 goodwill bags containing basic necessities, amounting to more than $55,000, were turned over to various government officials and political and community leaders of different organisations.
The Church, through these worldwide efforts, was described by Zucchi Leonard of Christchurch City Mission, one of the beneficiaries in Christchurch, as an “Incredibly generous organisation”, praising its goodwill for people, support and help for whanau.
In Hutt Valley, Hutt City Councillor and Hutt Valley District Board Member Keri Brown expressed her gratitude to the church for including Hutt City, particularly her suburban constituents, in the said humanitarian undertaking.
Strictly adhering to all government protocols, members organised for this activity at six different sites: Auckland, Invercargill, Christchurch, Wellington, Hutt Valley and Levin.
Expanding its humanitarian efforts, the INC reached out to everyone in need regardless of race, nationality or religious and political affiliations.
Mayor Bernie Wanden of Horowhenua District Council, who showed equal concern about his own community, said. “We know that we live in a community where these will be gratefully received. The need is great here. Any help that you can give them is greatly appreciated.” Wanden added. “The fact that you’ve chosen our district to be part of this is very special. We really appreciate what you have done for us.”
Local civic and political leaders acknowledged the dynamic leadership of the INC Executive Minister Bro. Eduardo V. Manalo, who strives to make the humanitarian presence of the Church Of Christ stronger and more responsive to the needs of many communities around the world, especially in these times of the Covid pandemic. They also conveyed their special messages to Bro. Manalo for his birthday, which coincided with the Aid to Humanity undertakings worldwide.
Anne Candy, the representative from Auckland City Council, said that the goodwill bags. “Will go towards a lot of vulnerable people that were actually discovered as a result of Covid lockdowns.” She also mentioned “the vulnerability and poverty that exists in Auckland for a lot of families, especially those that lost the salaries of their breadwinners and the struggle that they are going through. And this is absolutely amazing that the Church Of Christ has acknowledged that there is poverty in Auckland.”
Accelerating its aid and assistance all over the world, the Church, according to Bro. Dennis Dahunan, the District Minister assigned to New Zealand, said that similar events took place in 155 countries and territories across the globe. This, according to him, is in unity with the Administration of the Church in the fulfillment of God’s command to help those in need.