The happiness of a child begins in the home. He is nurtured and loved by his parents, and where he receives adequate food, shelter, clothing, supervision, education and health care. All are ingredients a child needs to grow into a productive and healthy-minded person in society.
But not all children experience love where it should rightfully come from. Many children are neglected or deprived of their basic needs. Thousands are abandoned or abused, countless are in danger and without protection from physical, mental and emotional harm.
A Man With A Vision
He gave his unconditional love not only to the children of his own foundation, The Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. (CJFI), but to all destitute children regardless of race, culture and religion.
Pastor Apollo says that when he was a little boy, he experienced poverty but survived because of the love of his family and the help of some considerate individuals. He has never forgotten the Chinese merchant who often took pity on him and allowed him to get rice from his store on credit. And now that he is financially blessed, he is giving more than is required of any man.
In 2005 he began feeding, clothing, and sheltering and educating children from the poor all over the Philippines, celebrating the first National Children’s Day (NCD).
In 2006, he brought the children from CJFI to Disneyland and when he saw them brimming with happiness and having the time of their life in the theme park, he said, “I want all children to experience the joy that these kids have this day in Disneyland.”
The Sonshine Land
Year 2007, Sonshine Land was born in Davao City. Pastor Apollo Quiboloy made his birthday, April 25, the adopted birthday for all destitute children of the Philippines. He let them experience the wonders of a theme park and the joy of their very own birthday celebration.
In Sonshine Land poor children encounter, for the first time, a full parade of cartoon characters, princesses and superheroes, endless party food, candy and drink, plenty of toys, gifts, rides, theater and a giant birthday cake for all the kids to blow.
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy remembers how the kindness of others had helped his family through hardship. He said that this amazing experience, this unique expression of love, would remain in a child’s memories and change his life forever.
ACQ International Children’s Day Around the Globe
A few years back, NCD began in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, Dubai, Israel, Morocco, Turkey, the UK, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, and Russia. Today it is reaching even the most poverty stricken places in Africa.
After 13 years, ACQ International Children’s Day, extends the love of Pastor Apollo beyond the borders of the Philippines. That keeps touching all destitute children around the world.
On April 25, Sonshine Land happens in hundreds of places in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. And at the same around the globe.
Sonshine Land is more than just about the park and the party. It is first and foremost about a love that made it all possible.