CJF: Looking into another Perspective
Every country seeks to protect the rights and welfare of children. This can be seen from so many laws and legislations which were promulgated, there is Republic Act 7610 which gives children in the Philippines protection against abuse, exploitation, discrimination, another law is PD 603 otherwise known as the Child and Youth Welfare Act, these laws and legislations, among others, were promulgated in order to render support to children and to protect their rights.
Despite all the laws protecting the welfare of children and youths, one question still lie unanswered, why is our country still among the nations whose child welfare programs is considered inadequate when it comes to sustainability? A big percentage of Filipino children are undernourished. This is a major concern that every Filipino should be concerned about and should take time to lend a hand in trying to uplift the welfare of the Filipino children, not just in written promulgations but in action as well.
The efforts made by concerned citizens around the country to join hands in uplifting the children’s state of affairs, is worthy of commendation. This proves that we as Filipinos are transcending beyond written policies and starting to put words into actions, as many non-government organizations (NGO’s) are now mobilizing their resources in order to help the government in helping the destitute ones by providing such program and services that cater for the resolution of our children’s needs.
One such NGO, The Children’s Joy Foundation Incorporated, founded by Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ the Name above Every Name is one of the staunch non-government organizations that help children who are in crisis situation.
One such initiative that is worth commending of the Children’s Joy Foundation and its founder, Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy is the effort of putting up residential centers and facilities around the Philippine archipelago and every year he seeks to expand the number of those who are being helped by the Foundation. Another feat which is truly worth emulating is that aside from establishing shelters to less fortunate children and providing their daily needs to ensure protection of their welfare, Pastor Apollo also dedicated his natal day as the Birthday also of all destitute children who have not even seen how a normal child celebrates Birthdays. Every April 25, which Pastor Apollo designated as the National Children’s Day, all destitute and underprivileged children are gathered to celebrate their adopted birthday. In this day, the children are given a chance to feel the fun and excitement of celebrating birthdays.
Through his initiative, since 2005 the nerve center and headquarters of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ has always been a replica of Disney Land, a local version known as the “Sonshine Across the Land”. Pastor Apollo wants every child around the country to experience what a birthday party really is.
What makes” Sonshine Across the Land” different? There are lots of reasons. First is; “Its everybody’s adopted birthday.” Every April 25 is a red-letter day since it became a tradition to all young children and they look forward to this date every year. In this one of a kind celebration, “Everything is free”, Yes! You’ve heard it right, in Sonshine land from the party attire, food you and everything else is really for free. The over flowing supply of month-watering candies, chocolates, ice-creams, fruit juices, milk and heavy meal that is truly an “Eat-all-you-can, Get-all-you-can” treat. Plus! who can ever imagine seeing gigantic floats parading with matching dancing fairies, the energetic cowboys, candy girl and the rest of 101 characters are truly like no other. Joining the merriment are the CJF’s junior ambassadors David Axel Manaday, Lek-lek Canada and Nash Acobo who despite of their very young age have already taken their roles to help alleviate the miseries of their fellow children.
One unforgettable sight during this one of a kind celebration is the Smile on every youngster’s face that only emphasizes the saying that goes “money can’t buy happiness” at the Sonshine land every child’s dream has magically come to reality.
We can’t really tell what destiny holds for every little child, but one thing is sure, we who have been born ahead of them needs to lend our hand so that they will see a bright future. The unselfish act and goodness of CJF’s Founder Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy in going all the way to help the children, is truly an act worth emulating.