LONG BEACH, CA—On October 10 to 12, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), an alliance of thirty-one organizations throughout the United States, celebrated its more than 10 years of serving and protecting the Filipino community in the U.S. and around the world.
In sync with the celebration of its “Dekada” (10 in Filipino), the alliance successfully gathered more than one hundred and fifty Filipino leaders and community’s supporters for its 3rd General Assembly. The tri-annual occasion is held so the many organizations of the alliance can plan its work ahead as well as elect its new leaders for the coming three years.
NAFCON however, did not stop there. To further commemorate its milestone moment, the alliance also released a document entitled “Ten Years, Ten Victories” which enumerates 10 key victories that NAFCON has achieved since its inception. One of the alliance’s most recent and notable victories included the raising of more than 1 million dollars for Typhoon Haiyan victims. The significant amount of money NAFCON collected was allocated directly to several trusted partners and people’s organizations on the ground in the Philippines. These funds were immediately used for emergency relief assistance at the height of the typhoon’s aftermath.
May Vargas of BALSA Mindanao, one of NAFCON’s main relief and rehabilitation organizational partners in the Philippines, affirmed the immediate and continuing impact of NAFCON’s work. Vargas had traveled from Mindanao, her home, to attend the General Assembly and serve as one of its key speakers.
“To date, NAFCON supports a lot of farming communities in Typhoon Haiyan devastated areas in their efforts to rebuild their communities, especially in terms of sustainable agriculture and organic farming. NAFCON was the first to respond when we called for help when Typhoon Pablo hit Mindanao and Haiyan in the Visayas. Two weeks after Haiyan hit, we were the first to deliver a comprehensive intervention and the first to let the children laugh and play after a major catastrophe changed their lives. More than 50 peasant indigenous communities now have their own farms to till and they are trained on agricultural sustainability.” Vargas said.
In addition to its efforts around relief and rehabilitation, another one of NAFCON’s key victories is holding high its candle and continuing to serve the interests of Filipino migrants here in the U.S. Terrence Valen, NAFCON President described examples of the alliance’s commitment toward protecting its community.
“That is what it has been, NAFCON standing together with workers on the streets, in churches,in communities, in schools, in workplaces focusing on issues such as migrant rights. We hosted the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR) just this passed year in New York at the United Nations,” Valen said.