"The Iglesia Ni Cristo is further accelerating its aid and assistance programs all over the world. We conducted our very first Aid to Humanity or Lingap sa Mamamayan drive in Vizag in the Indian province of Andhra Pradesh this month. Its success completely exceeded everyone's expectations."
Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo made the remark after the Filipino church conducted a three-day activity in the Indian port city, adding that "we are humbled by the warm reception of the Indian people. We promised to be back for bigger Aid to Humanity initiatives in the future."
Lingap and Aid to Humanity programs are conducted under the auspices of the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation.
The Indian leg of Lingap was held on Sept. 27 to 29, 2019.
An estimated 8,000 people, representing the poorest citizens in the region, received 15,000 free goodwill bags, which included food and basic necessities.
Financial assistance to several local institutions was likewise provided.
INC Auditor General Glicerio B. Santos, Jr., who led the Filipino delegation, noted that according to reports from INC volunteers and Indian authorities alike, the activity was the biggest ever humanitarian effort of its kind in Vizag.
"It took a lot of planning. Logistically, we needed to prepare thousands of goodwill packages. We also had to coordinate with the local development authority for securing the venue, assistance in the distribution, and ensuring the program was peaceful and orderly," Santos said.
Local Indian media picked up the event and reported the activity in television, radio and newspapers in the area.
The INC Auditor General stated that the Indian Aid to Humanity was a successful follow-up to the recent North American Lingap caravan last August.
Similar Aid events were held a month earlier in Washington, DC and New York, Illinois, Arizona, Tennessee and California, with an estimated 4,000 beneficiaries receiving similar care packages and several humanitarian organizations getting financial assistance.
The Indian event included a brief film showing on the INC’s outreach initiatives in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Australia-New Zealand.
Last May, INC provided assistance to needy and marginalized groups in Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.
In late 2018 and early 2019, huge Aid to Humanity and Lingap sa Mamamayan programs were held in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Macau and Hong Kong, with close to 8,000 overseas Filipino workers attending.
"Iglesia Ni Cristo's aid and outreach activities circle the globe and provide needed assistance without regard to nationality, gender and even religious and political affiliation. INC Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo's vision is for us to be at the forefront of the fight against poverty. That's what we try to do with each Lingap," Santos explained.
"Several other Aid to Humanity events are lined up this year. We plan to make them bigger and more far-reaching. Part of our aim is to make people realize that we Filipinos can be effective providers of material and spiritual support even to those outside of the Philippines."