As April 25 grows near, we know that every child is growing more and more excited because ACQ International Children’s Day (ACQ ICD) is coming to town! And so it is, as the volunteers of the ACQ ICD and Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. visit the Muslim communities in Parang, Maguindanao and the mountainous regions of Kitbog-Sitio Kalonbarak in Malungon, Sarangani Province.
ACQ ICD is a legacy of love and compassion that Pastor Apollo Quiboloy wishes to impart to poor, marginalized, and vulnerable children not only in the Philippines but to all the world. This grand caravan of feeding, gift giving, and birthday blowout gives these children an experience they will never forget — especially for those children who have never experienced a birthday party due to poverty and lack.
Poverty has become a shared problem among all the nations of the world. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, one out of eight people in developing countries represent the number of hungry people. In recent years, undernourishment has already become a problem even in developed countries.
Children, who are the most vulnerable in the society, endure the worst effects of this predicament, such as poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socio-emotional problems, physical health problems, and developmental delays.
“ACQ ICD depicts a story of a suffering child, whose life was lifted up by the spirit of incomparable joy and happiness found only on ICD. That spirit shall remain in his heart and mind for a very long time. That is the spirit of ICD,” explains the founder and the major benefactor of the Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc., Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.
It is the grandest community outreach that begins in the first few months of the year and culminates on April 25th as the biggest, grandest, and most celebrated birthday party dedicated to all children in the world.
Every April 25th, ICD builds a magical “Sonshine Across the Land” where thousands of children will enjoy sumptuous and unlimited food, drinks, toys, fun rides, and a chance to meet-and-greet their favorite superheroes, princesses, cartoon and movie characters for an entire day, all for free. There is also a grand 3D Projection Mapping, the biggest in the city, that showcase animation effects while fairytale princesses take onstage performing their famous songs to the delight of children who crooned along. Hundreds of Davao’s finest Cosplayers are also present in the event to give entertainment.
Now on its 12th year, the ACQ International Children’s Day has even extended the love not only to poor children in grassroots communities but has also given joy and hope to the elderly, people with disabilities, and their families who have taken part in the grand celebration.
The annual ACQ ICD is definitely a work of love and compassion where Pastor Apollo Quiboloy shares his blessings from the Almighty Father. It gives so much, without expecting even a centavo in return.
It is an experience that would be imprinted in the hearts and minds of these children until they grow old. A love that they would always remember, and share to others who are also in need. It is a snowballing kind of love. In effect, it is a love that begets love.
Today, many of the witnesses and recipients of ICD in the years past, have also become volunteers and pledged to spread the spirit of ICD in their areas. Consequently, ICD has become an adopted birthday of millions of impoverished children not only in the Philippines, but also in different parts of the world such as in North, Central and South America, Canada, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Belgium, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Middle East, Australia, among others.