ELGIN UNITED: DOORS ARE CLOSED BUT HEARTS ARE OPEN
Although our building may be closed right now, our outreach continues to make a difference in lives here in our community and on the other side of the world. Please read below for an update on Zyra Joy, our child that we support through World Vision in the Philippines. In recent years, sponsorship programs have been criticized for being too narrow in focus and reaching only one child when there are so many needs in their native countries. However, the community-based solutions of World Vision mean that for every child that is sponsored, four other children benefit as well. Indeed, the entire community is impacted and supported through training and education programs, and support for small business and agriculture. So I invite you to read below about the community where Zyra Joy lives, and the work that has been accomplished in just the past year. It takes a village to raise a child, but that child can raise up a village with our help!
Zyra Joys Update
Lives in: Sorsogon community in Philippines
Language: We speak Bicol at home
Favourite Subject: National Language
Health status: Good
Lives with: I live with my parents
Participation update: I felt valued during a special celebration for children
in the community with similar birthdays.
My school also received supplies to help children with their education.
The Sorsogon community is home to more than 90,000 people, almost half of whom are children. Natural resources provide income and are vital to the community. However, illegal fishing practices, inadequate waste removal, and overfishing have destroyed the coral reefs and decreased the fish supply. This has made it hard for families to earn money and provide for their basic needs, including food, education, and health care. A growing population and regularly occurring natural disasters jeopardize Sorsogon’s economy.
Many children in Sorsogon are malnourished, especially those under the age of five. Malnourishment, in turn, leaves children more vulnerable to illness. Families cannot always afford to send their children to school, which leaves them at risk of getting involved in dangerous situations, including crime and child labour. Poor hygiene and health practices combined with limited access to clean, safe drinking water also threatens the health and wellbeing of children and their families.
Our sponsorship for Zyra Joy ensures that she has the finances and supplies to attend school, and also supports community programs such as those listed below.
- An advocacy initiative led by women was centred on child protection and safety, and allowed these mothers to change their community for the better
- Over 100 farmers had access to agricultural technical services, and received seeds, livestock, tools and equipment. In turn, they were able to increase their production and income and better support their families.
- Almost 300 youth were provided with information on the prevention, control and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
- Over 100 women and men learned how to operate a business, enabling them to earn an income and better support their children.
- Over 1000 households were educated on financial management and are now participating in savings groups that allow them to access credit and loans
Thank you for your ongoing support of our outreach at Elgin United Church!
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40
Portland United Church
In keeping with the Government of Ontario Guidelines for the lockdown that started at 12:01 AM Boxing Day and continues for 28 days, there will be no Church Services during the month of January. The PUC Council will re-evaluate at the end of January to determine if the church will be opened for in person sermons and/or video church services. In the past you have been given several alternative services to view in the comfort of your home through the EPPC News. Please go into the links that were provided to you in the past. Here are some of them for your enjoyment.
A later service – 11 a.m. at Bethel UC Rideau Ferry
Here is the wording from the Government of Ontario Lockdown
Weddings, funerals and other religious rites, ceremonies and services can go ahead with a maximum of 10 people — indoors or outdoors — and only with physical distancing in place.