Greetings from MCC Canada executive director
Where we work
“I bought everything at market before, the vegetables, fish and chicken. Now I grow everything.” – Chim Yean, Cambodia
Living in rural Cambodia, Chim Yean* had an empty fishpond, a few chickens and no hope for things to improve. In the dry season, there were many days where his family didn’t have enough food.
Through MCC’s account at Canadian Foodgrains Bank, you’ve enabled our local partners to form and support farm co-operatives. For $120, you generously supplied Yean with all the seeds, tools and materials he needs to farm. And for $360, you provided him with a fishpond that he uses to raise and sell fish.
Thanks to you, Yean has a busy chicken coop, a stocked fishpond and a healthy year-round garden. He has enough food for his family and enough to store up and sell too.
*In Cambodia, family names are written before first names.
Food program highlights
“The training has also helped me leave the past behind. Because our life in the past was quite hard, it was hard to do. Really for two years there was such turmoil inside, we really needed to leave that and regain ourselves.” – Igor Semyonov, Ukraine
When war came to Igor Semyonov’s doorstep in Donetsk, Ukraine, he found himself needing help he never imagined.
He fled to Zaporizhzhia where an MCC church partner fed and sheltered him until he was able to get back on his feet.
Now, he and his wife Larisa have their own apartment. On their bed is an MCC comforter. Their shelves hold cans of meat with the words “In the name of Christ.” It costs $7,800 to send one shipping container of food and relief supplies to people like Igor.
Igor has been eager to give back. After receiving training from an MCC church partner, he’s able to help people who were also displaced. A ripple of caring set off by you.
Relief program highlights
“I just look at the benefits I’ve gotten from my supporters, because they are preparing me to be a great leader.” - Naomi Bakeka Anuarit, the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Raised in a small refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Naomi Bakeka Anuarite had no access to education and no way to secure a good job.
But your support changed Naomi's future. For only $78 each year, you covered Naomi’s school fees and provided her with supplies to complete a full Grade 1–12 education. Because of you, she’s now attending medical school, with hopes of becoming a doctor to help others, including her mother and younger siblings who still live in Mubimbi.
Education program highlights
“We have seen such a positive impact,” she says. “We now have clean water to drink and there is less sickness. I hope it means my grandchildren will have opportunities that I didn’t.”- Aïchatou Hamidou, Chad
Aïchatou Hamidou lives in a refugee camp in Chad called Kobiteye. With only a few functioning hand pumps in the area, Aïchatou could only provide her grandchildren with water that tasted like rust and dirt. She hated that these children barely knew the taste of safe, clean drinking water.
A new, more reliable hand pump costs $1,983. Your generosity means that Aïchatou and the 6,000 others living in Kobiteye have more than a dozen clean hand pumps. You’ve also provided latrines and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) training for Aïchatou.
Through your support, Aïchatou now leads Kobiteye’s WASH team along with a group of women to ensure waste is safely cleaned up and the pumps stay in repair.
Water program highlights
“We have realized that medicines are not the only thing that is needed and there is much more all of us as a family, friends and neighbours can do to support people going through these difficulties to help them be healthy. We are her supports now. We are with her.” - Pompa Humagaim, Nepal
In rural Nepal, resources for mental health support are limited. But your gifts meant that Kamala Sapkota could attend a mental health and rehabilitation program, which costs around $1,300 per person.
When Kamala graduated, she received two baby goats that allowed her to create income for herself. With supports in place and financial independence, Kamala’s life was in her own hands once again. Her family was also taught how they could best support her. Because of you, she is no longer defined by her mental health.
Health program highlights
Peace and Justice
“I wanted to compel people to a global and personal action based on our faith. We’re beneficiaries of our culture and our history, and we have to recognize that means participating in the story of migration.” – Hannah Gray, Canada
Your faithful donations meant that Hannah Gray could attend the student peace seminar in Ottawa this year. The theme was People on the Move: Human Rights and Global Migration.
After the event, Hannah reflected her feelings through art:
The butterflies represent the dignity and resilience of migrants and their right to move freely. Hannah added the humpback whale, which also migrates, precisely because it’s so different from the butterflies.
“I wanted this painting to emphasize that sometimes we are taken off of our regular routes of migration and that people can end up in unexpected or difficult situations and that it is important for us to work together (as the butterflies in this picture) to help our fellow migrants on their journey even if they are very different from us,” she says.
Thank you for making it possible for young people to pursue justice and peace!
Peace and Justice highlights
No matter what she tried, Gilchen Davalillo couldn’t make enough money to feed her family. The Venezuelan economy was in shambles, with hyperinflation pricing even daily bread beyond her reach.
So, she made a brave and incredibly difficult choice. She left to seek opportunity in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Her family was one of thousands who’d fled for the same reasons. Jobs, housing and hope seemed just as impossible to find.
But you generously provided the resources for our church partner in Quito to support Gilchen and her family with housing, trauma support and food. It costs $98 for the church to provide families like Gilchen’s with monthly food baskets. Without this food, many families could not survive in Quito.
Your act of love means Gilchen’s family, and many others, have new opportunities to thrive.
Migration program highlights
Ten Thousand Villages
“Thank you very much…. You’re really a fair-trade soul. Words are not enough to describe; your support comes at the right time when we are really in a difficult situation.” - A representative from an artisan group in Bali
With heavy hearts, MCC announced the closure of Ten Thousand Villages Canada corporate operations in early 2020.
Ten Thousand Villages began in 1946 when Edna Ruth Byler sold handicrafts from the trunk of her car and launched a global fair-trade movement. For 74 years, the stores have helped ensure artisans all over the world are paid first and fairly for their work. These values helped spark a movement that saw more and more people embrace ethical and sustainable shopping.
We are grateful for the faithful work of every single Ten Thousand Villages Canada artisan, staff member and volunteer who contributed to this legacy.
Global Service Learning
“It is a privilege to understand God’s calling for me through the people that I am working with, living with and hanging out with (…) I have learned a lot to be more patient and to rejoice in the day that the Lord has made. I’m transforming into the woman that God has called me to be.” – Minear Mak, Cambodia
One evening, Minear Mak’s Colombian host family made spaghetti for dinner. But Minear, from Cambodia, was surprised to see they were going to use a fork instead of chopsticks to eat noodles. What followed was a giggle-filled evening as Minear shared chopstick lessons and a part of her culture.
This is the kind of cross-cultural exchange Minear experienced with the Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network (YAMEN). Through your support, many young people are experiencing these same cultural moments through our other global service learning programs: Serving and Learning Together (SALT) and International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP).
GSL participants 2019-2020
To celebrate MCC’s centennial we set out to collect 6,500 comforters at The Great Winter Warm-up events across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
Though January 18, 2020 saw major winter storms at many locations, hard-working volunteers helped us surpass the goal: we collected more than 9,400 comforters! Thanks to everyone who helped cut, sew and tie these blankets. They will provide warmth and comfort to displaced and vulnerable people around the world.
We are so thankful for the families, churches and volunteers that pack, sew and donate relief supplies to be shared with our global neighbours.
MCC Thrift Shops
Every year MCC Thrift shops raise millions of dollars to support MCC’s work around the world. This is only possible because of volunteers like 93-year-old Jacob Fehr.
Jacob spends many of his free hours cutting denim squares out of old pairs of jeans. Those squares are packaged and sold to quilters through MCC Thrift shops. “It keeps me out of trouble,” he jokes. “A lot of guys just go for coffee… but somehow I can’t do that.” Since 2017, Jacob has delivered more than 700 bundles of denim squares to Thrift shops— around 90,000 squares.
MCC Canada financials
Thank you for being part of the MCC story. The work and ministry of MCC is only to the faithful support of people like you.
To mark MCC’s centennial, would you join us in making a special centennial gift? Your support is needed now more than ever. Join us to bring hope, dignity and peace for the next 100 years