Thanks, and thanks again.

Welcome to the enhanced CFSI website!  Long in the making, it represents a significant step forward vis-à-vis CFSI’s commitment to greater engagement with, as well as accountability to, its various publics.  Over the next couple of weeks, we will be adding additional country programme/project content, social media tools, and other important elements, including a mechanism for donating to CFSI.  Stay tuned for developments!

There are many people to thank for the progress so far, but allow me to focus on just one for now, specifically website designer Edmund Arceo.  Edmund was born and raised in the Philippines and came to know of CFSI in 1994.  He migrated to Canada in 1998, but remained in touch and shortly thereafter designed the first version of the CFSI website—at no cost to CFSI.  Well received, it was recognized by others for its creativity and beauty.

Edmund continued to assist CFSI on a pro bono basis over the following fourteen years, even as his life in Canada became busier by the day.  Regrettably, Management tended to focus virtually all of its attention on field operations, sometimes neglecting the responsibility to inform and, far too often, missing opportunities to engage with others, as well as to be a more effective advocate for, and with, uprooted people.  Lesson learned.  Those days are over.

Back to Edmund.  On 16/17 December 2011, a tropical storm caused widespread flooding in Northern Mindanao, Philippines, affecting more than 1,100,000 persons, displacing 400,000, and killing more than 1,500 children, women, and men.  Edmund rose to the occasion, this time a notch higher.  He mobilized his friends in Canada to hold a fund-raising concert that resulted in US$1,600 (PhP68,800) for CFSI’s response to this horrific disaster.  Once again, all of his efforts were undertaken at absolutely no cost to CFSI.

Fast forward.  Recognizing the urgent need for an enhanced CFSI website, Edmund contributed his time, energy, and talent in April/May 2012 to develop the website you see before you today.  This was not easy as it involved working with CFSI Staff Members half-a-world away from Edmund’s base in Vancouver and dealing with a fifteen-hour time difference.  Not once did Edmund complain, not once did he falter.  To Edmund, we say thanks, and thanks again.

We are hoping you will find the CFSI website attractive, interesting, easy to navigate, and compelling.  Any feedback you wish to provide will be received with great gratitude.  One last thing, if you see Edmund Arceo, give him a pat on the back, thank him once, and then thank him again.