Laura Vicuña Foundation joined the National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation with the theme " I AM THE SOLUTION" at Quezon City Circle on February 8, 2016
On the 16th of February a protective behavior session was held at out CPC area in Bacood.
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB) awards Laura Vicuña Foundation, Inc. for its advocacy for social justice and work for vulnerable children. Sr. Felicidad Boado, FMA represented LVF for the awarding which was held at LST, Ateneo de Manila University.
This month's activities were focused on visits to our CPC areas which coincided with the feast days of St John Bosco and Blessed Laura Vicuna. In Samar and Leyte Sr. Candy Carmen Balverde, FMA, Ms. Felina Narvaez together with Ms. Mercedes Juncia visited a total of 7 barangays and distributed gifts to approx 300 people.We have been supporting people in these areas for about 1 year now and the mothers and children thanked LVF for the gifts and appreciate the help and solidarity as they rebuild their lives after the typhoon. One mother said, “ I believed that it is still Christmas season for us right now because of this extension of gift giving.”
Don Bosco's motto,' Run, Jump, play but never sin' was the theme for the visits to CPC areas in Manila in celebration of the feast days of Don Bosco and Blessed Laura Vicuna. Activities included story telling about their lives, quiz bee and fun and games of course.
LVF participates in the 60th Anniversary of FMA Presence in the Philippines
Some LVF kids from its residential home, training centers and formation program took the big dome’s center stage as performers in the musical concert held last November 30 at the Araneta Coliseum to celebrate the 60th year of presence of the Salesian Sisters in the Philippines. The girls of Laura Vicuña Center performed a light ritual dance during the Holy Mass. With selected kids from the Sta. Mesa Formation Program and Technology Center, they revived LVF’s theme song “Children of the World” with new hand gestures and finally rock the stage with their own version of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White”. LVF’s past Vicuñan Allen Ojera fulfilled his long time wish of singing live at the Araneta being one of the “sessionistas” who earned audience cheers with his soulful rendition of “Your Love” by 90’s famous boy band Alamid.
Past Vicuñans Home Coming at LVF Sta. Mesa
More than a hundred past Vicuñans came home to LVF last December 6 for a day of thanksgiving, recollection and reminiscing of unforgettable memories and friendship at LVF’s Technology Centers-Sta. Mesa and Victorias City, Residential Home-Cubao, QC and Drop-in Center in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
With the last home coming in 2010, this get together was really long awaited with the number of comments received and invite confirmation in LVF’s Facebook page. Some even posted throwback pictures. The Past Vicuñans were indeed very excited; some even came with their spouse and children.
They were thankful for the inspiring inputs they received from Sr. Marivic Sta. Ana, FMA who gave the opening remarks; Sr. Rachel Flor, FMA who shared about the FMA Past Pupils’ Federation in the world; Fr. Toto Cerada, SDB who celebrated the Holy Mass; and Mr. Stephen Borja who gave the advent recollection.
LVF Partihan 2015
About 1,500 street and urban poor kids experienced a big birthday blow-out as LVF culminated its 25th anniversary celebration during LVF’s annual Partihan held last December 12. The kids were especially delighted with entertaining jukebox hits performance from J Brothers, spectacular stunts from guest acrobats, the Bubble Show and mini fare booths (Shoot the Ring Game Booth, Photo Booth, Food Booth - Fish ball, Cotton Candy and Ice Cream).
The children went home with heavy packs of goodies from LVF’s faithful benefactors, board of trustees, supporters and friends.
A Magical Ice Festival Treat for 2000 LVF kids at Araneta Coliseum
A must-see Disney on Ice show once again conquered the hearts of 2,000 LVF kids during its charity show last December 24 courtesy of Mrs. Judy Araneta Roxas. The kids were mesmerized with the amazing ice skating stunts, special lighting effects in vibrant colors, and timeless Disney sound tracks. Cheers became louder and louder when act 4 started with the portrayal of Disney’s Frozen. Audience from all ages found themselves singing the hit theme songs of this 2014 super hit animation film.
Discussions on Positive Discipline
This month saw the rolling out of Barangay-based Talakayan (discussions) on Positive Discipline with 350 women in Barangay 601 Sta.Mesa, Barangay 621 Bacood , Gawad Kalinga Hiyas ng Maynila, Barangay 767 San Andres Bukid Manila and General Trias, Cavite. DSWD sponsored the snacks fro each event.
LVF Acts in Leyte
Around 600 students attended the LVF ACTS in Leyte last Nov. 10 and 16 in their respective schools namely Palo National High School, San Joaquin National High School in Palo and Kiling National High School, Tanauan.
National Children's Month
LVF joined the culminating activity of National Children's Month celebration at Luneta Grandstand with its more than 150 delegation of parents and youth accompanied by the Salesian sisters and LVF social workers. One of the event's highlights was the launching of story books written by children, two writers were from LVF - Princesslyn Regulacion and Stephen Kyle Arcan.
by Steve Clark
Flicking through the pages of a glossy magazine, sandwiched between advertisements for luxury goods might be the last place you would expect to find a photo and article about a religious sister. It was quite courageous really of the Stargate People Asia Magazine editorial board to present an award to Sr. Marivic (Managing Director of the Laura Vicuna Foundation of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians) as one of their 2015 Women of Style and Substance … daring to consider a very different value system than those typically portrayed in the magazine or aspired to by their readership.
What makes her story stand out is that the genesis of her success is almost the exact opposite of other winners. Its source is not from what she has strived to gain but principally from what she gave up and for whom. Born into a wealthy and prominent family she could have done anything with her life, unlimited possibilities for career, possessions, glamour, living the highlife etc. but instead she sacrificed it all to embrace the obscurity of obedience, poverty and simplicity. She became a staunch defender of the poorest and most vulnerable children; all for the love of God.
Perhaps her inclusion in the magazine & awards might inspire others to choose her path of selfless service and perhaps to share what they have with the many children of this country who suffer so much.
Around 500 participants attended the 3rd annual family congress held at La Salle Greenhills, Mandaluyong City last November 8, 2015.
Beginning with Mass the day unfolded with a series of talks from four families on their experiences of the ups and downs of family life and the key ingredients they had discovered. Each shared their core values founded on the bedrock of faith and family prayer. First was the Lorica family who shared the key ingredients they had discovered and learned from Salesian Spirituality.
As well as sharing their musical talent with us Mrs Lorica spoke about her motto “Do ordinary things extraordinary well and offer them to God as a prayer” and described her career progress at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) . One of the sons, Lawrence, spoke of how he has come to appreciate his parents and the close family bonds. The next family to present were Mr & Mrs Camarines & their 3 sons..
In this family the parents taught their children to always share their blessings with others and particularly with the needy. Mrs Camarines underlined the need to "put God at the center of your family" and her husband stressed the need to listen to your children too, hear what they have to say and how they feel. Next was the Banta family...
Mrs. Banta shared her life experiences and journey. She came from a broken family, her father had a lot of vices, smoking, drinking, gambling. These difficult beginnings made her all the more determined, she used them as a source of strength and inspiration rather than being held back or crippled by them. She now has her husband and two beautiful daughters. Mrs. Banta advised the families at the congress, that if anyone is experiencing trials in life, the only thing they can do is pray and have faith in God.
Trisha the eldest daughter, has donated her hair to help cancer patients. Trisha said she knows how those cancer patients feel because she almost died due to dengue when she was younger. Our next speakers were the Santos family:-
Just like the others who shared their life experiences God also tested their faith. Mrs Santos told how their house burned down, she had to have a serious operation, and the following year her father died. Her family didn’t give up their faith though and trusted in the Lord. Mr. Santos asked the teen participants if they cut their classes to go out with their peers, most of them raised their hands. He had the done the same but now advised them to pay attention to their studies and to always pray.
Many of the themes expressed by the families were further explored in the forums with question and answers sessions. The last segment was a session on positive discipline in families by Ms Lee Aguila. She explained how it is a step by step process to improve the attitude of their children. The best way for parents to do this is to become a role model, because whatever children see you do is what they will do. Ms. Aguila's message to the families is “Do not use your hand to hurt anybody especially your children instead use it to secure them and make them feel that they are loved.
On September 19, LVF children, members of the Board, benefactors and friends gathered at the Asian Institute of Management to thank God for the 25 fruitful years of the Laura Vicuña Foundation.
At 5:15 in the afternoon, all present were gathered at the exact spot where the late Fr. Donelan SJ, (former AIM chaplain) heard the voices of the street children who were sleeping under his air conditioning unit outside his room and was inspired to do something to help them. This is to remember our humble beginnings and thank God for realizing His dream of Hope for children at risk.
A ritual dance to offer the portrait of Blessed Laura Vicuña and Fr. James Donelan with the children of LVF taken in the early 90’s was rendered by the girls of Laura Vicuña Center.
Mr. Ricky Jalbuena read the account of Fr. Donelan’s encounter with the street children and his encounter with Mother Ana Maria Mattiussi, FMA, the first Provincial Superior of the FMA Philippine Province.
Flowers were offered and everyone was blessed by Fr. William Kreutz, SJ who also officiated the Thanksgiving mass at 6:00 in the evening. Sr.Marivic Sta. Ana, FMA gave her words of gratitude on behalf of LVF.
The celebration concluded with the viewing of LVF@25 exhibit and a simple salu-salo provided by AIM benefactors.
Our sincerest thanks to all the people who graced the occasion and for those who joined us in prayers. All the glory is Yours our Almighty Father. Thank you for blessing our journey with the young people all through these years.
On its 25th year, the Laura Vicuña Foundation pays tribute to its former child and youth partners who made a difference and live a life guided by the teachings and values imparted by the Salesian Sisters and the virtues of Blessed Laura Vicuña.
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With their strong advocacy on the rights of women and girls, the Soroptimist International in the Philippine Region (SIPR) and the Laura Vicuña Foundation joined forces to bring their two great programs to 500 young girls coming from their partners grassroots communities for a one-day Dream It, Be It Conference Workshop that took place on the 23rd of August 2015 at the Xavier School in San Juan City.
Through a plenary session, the girls had the opportunity to hear from three inspiring young women, from LVF programs who were able to live their dreams amidst their life’s difficulties and are now successful professionals in their respective career fields. Inspirational messages were also given by a series of invited guest speakers.
The afternoon’s workshop activities were a venue for the girls to explore several themes. Split into 20 groups of 25 with an adult mentor and 2-3 facilitators they were asked to consider which women they admired and what kind of women they wanted to become themselves. Through a meaningful sharing with co-participants and processing of their experiences the girls identified their personal strengths, weaknesses and what they want to achieve in the next five-years leading to their chosen careers. They produced a Dream Collage to illustrate this pathway and identified goals or’ stepping stones’ in their pursuit of their dreams.
After this one-day conference, small mentoring sessions will be conducted by Laura Vicuña Foundation to follow-up on the girls and ensure to create a lasting impact in their lives in terms of charting their life plans and translating this into reality.
About 100 Grade 10 students from Manapla National High School, Negros Occidental attended the session last August 4, handled by Mercedes Juncia and Desiree de Guzman.
About 150 parents and trainees from Mary Our Help Technical Institute for Women attended the session at Mabalacat, Pampanga last August 30, given by Sr. Candy Carmen Balverde, FMA and Mercedes Juncia.
Realizing the evil effects of human trafficking, the parents committed to:-
Medical Mission in Brgy Canyoyo
LVF held a medical mission on June 23rd for the residents of Barangay Canyoyo, Marabut , Western Samar. The new CPC on Wheels vehicle was used as a mobile pharmacy during the event. About 120 residents benefited from the mission.
On the Road .... Trafficking Workshops
The CPC on wheels took a road trip to 3 public Schools in Samar between July 2nd to 6th where LVF worker Mercedes Juncia presented one day sessions on (ACTS) :- Advocacy Against Child Trafficking in Schools to more than 1200 children.
She discussed the rights of the child, gave an overview on human trafficking followed by a film /analysis and went through the causes of trafficking. The students pledged their commitment to the following actions:-
* don’t be afraid to report incidence of human trafficking
* don’t trust strangers
* be brave and don’t let others fool you
* study well and have a good education
* be sensitive to what is happening around you
* obey your parents
* join organizations which give this kind of advocacy
* be aware of illegal recruiters
The 3 schools that participated were Osmeña National High School, (800 students) Marabut National High School (200 students) and San Fernando National High School (200 students).
We are delighted to report good progress on the construction of our new building. The construction began in April 2015 after preparation, bidding, 5 months procurement of building permit etc. The construction has now reached approximately 30% completion with the beams, support columns and floor deck of the mezzanine floor already in place as well as its main stairs and fire exit stairway. Construction of the second floor is now in progress.
The girls transferred to their temporary home in Pampanga last May and are eagerly looking forward to going back to their new home by the end of this year or early next year. We envision the home to be a Child Protection Institute which will provide the opportunity for continuing professional education for Social Workers and other professionals who are involved in child protection and development work, as well as a learning hub for community volunteers who will be trained as child rights advocates.
The Ateneo Human Rights Center and Save the Children convened 30 child rights advocates from selected NGOs in South East Asian countries for a 4-day Foundational Course on Children’s Rights held at Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.
Having made a significant contribution in the field of protection and promotion of children’s rights in high risk communities, the Laura Vicuña Foundation was invited to participate in this course which provided an introduction to the international framework on children’s rights and how it is implemented and applied in the ASEAN Region. Representing the Foundation was Ms. Emy India who was granted a full scholarship for the entire duration of this course. The participants came from Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines.
One of the highlights was a discussion on the ASEAN economic integration and how this will affect children particularly their fundamental rights. Posed with positive and negative impacts, the ASEAN member states goal is to implement the Free Trade Area, a second level of integration which will remove tariff and quotas resulting in lower prices of goods. This will be taking effect on December 30th 2015.
Perceived problems and issues which will affect children and youth by this ASEAN integration include the following: mobility (statelessness, children in detention/ shelters); poverty and income distribution; labor standards; environmental hazards; cost and standard of healthcare; access to food/health & shelter especially for migrants; smuggling and human trafficking (prostitutions/ forced labor/ organ trafficking); and feminization of labor among others.
Civil Organizations are calling for a harmonized effort to mitigate the negative effects of ASEAN integration, one of which is providing child rights’ based safety nets for the protection of children.
Last June 20, 2015, LVF Social Worker, Ms. Joy Hugo, conducted an initial meeting with thirty parents of Adelfa, Metro Heights Compound of Brgy. Culiat, Quezon City. She introduced the Laura Vicuna Foundation program and services through a video documentary presentation.
Brgy. Councilor, Cristina Bernardino is very happy that the Foundation has chosen Brgy. Culiat as their new LVF- CPC area. She mentioned that it is very timely that the Foundation is extending its services to them especially in the formation of parents, as many of the parents are not aware of their responsibilities towards their children. She added that the number of children who are in conflict with the law is increasing.
Two other Brarangay Councilors joined the encounter. Each of them gave a message to their constituents and encouraged them to attend the formation regularly
The first session for Parent Effectiveness Services is scheduled on July 4, 2015.
One hundred young people from the Laura Vicuna Foundation joined the “Freedom Concert’ at the Open Air Auditorium in Luneta Park. The event was sponsored by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in celebration of World Day against Child Labor.
Gabe Mercado, a comedian actor in one of the T.V series hosted the celebration. Invited solo artists and bands graced the event as they performed on stage. The crowd cheered and danced when Noel Cabangon sang his hit song “Kanlungan” and The Dawn sang their rendition of “Batang-bata Ka Pa”.
The purpose of the event was highlighted with the symbolic spin wheel ceremony spearheaded by ILO Country Director, and other representatives from different organisations, by writing their commitment and posting it on the spin wheel as an indication of their support for the campaign: “STOP CHILD LABOR”.
Sec. Rosalinda Baldoz gave her message through a video presentation.
Rights of children were flashed on a screen on the stage during the Interval as part of the advocacy.
Rights, Camera, Action !
A Video Production and Media Literacy Workshop)
Ten (10) kids from the Child Protection Clinic (CPC) on Wheels produced their own advocacy video on child labor, a very effective tool to advance the issues of children in their own communities. Most of the kids scavenge along Taguig junkyards after school to fill help augment their parents’ income.
This three-day workshop on video production and media literacy provided by the National Council on Children’s Television (NCCT) from May 4-6, 2015 taught the children participants to use media wisely and to always think twice on what they see in the social media in order to delineate reality from make-believe. The kids also learned the basics on formulating their story line and translate this into a short video clip using digital camera and a video editing software.
Drawing on their day-to-day life struggles, the CPC kids came up with a very interesting sequence for their 1-minute video clip. Some kids became the actors and actresses while others served as the director and camera man. NCCT trainors mentored them in video editing and the group garnered a satisfactory critique from the workshop facilitators.
Vicunians Read Along with Nikki Gil
The Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) invited Laura Vicuña Foundation to take part in its 8th year anniversary of “Read Along”, this time with ABS-CBN network’s talent and PDI’s Read-along Ambassador, Ms. Nikki Gil held last May 9 at the PDI office in Makati City.
Kiids from LVF’s Child Protection Clinic on Wheels in Bacood, Sta. Mesa Manila were touched by the story of a mother’s great love for her son, with Nikki Gil singing a lullaby portion of the story, moving some of the kids to tears. Teachers from Sophia School also read story about taking care of one’s personal belongings while professional readers from Ang Pinoy Storytellers and Adarna House read about the story of two siblings who learned to value sharing.
On their way home, the kids brought with them unforgettable memories of the fun-filled learning experience at the read along sessions, a back pack of school supplies with Jollibee treat from Zendesk Company and most especially, the significant lessons in life they will surely remember.
UNILAB 70th Birthday Gift
On the occasion of UNILAB’s 70th anniversary celebration last May 15, 2015 held at its head office in Mandaluyong City, top executives of the pharmaceutical company awarded LVF part of the proceeds of the goodwill games involving hundreds of UNILAB’s employees who purposely played for the benefit of street kids being served by the Laura Vicuña Foundation. Two other NGO’s were also beneficiaries.
Representing LVF to receive the ceremonial check were its President Emeritus Sr. Felicidad M. Boado, FMA and Sr. Candy Carmen Balverde, FMA who is currently assigned as a Social Worker in its residential home for abused girls.
LVF was privileged to share its work in combating child labor and convey the testimonies of child laborers in a Consultative Conference on Child Labor and Education in Subic, Zambales, organized by National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), ILO, DepEd and DOLE on May 25th-27th.
With a view to strengthening the education system to address child labor, the consultative conference convened more than 45 delegates from the national and regional government offices of DepEd, DOLE, DSWD, DOJ, and TESDA; from labor groups – TUCP and FFW; the employer’s group represented by ECOP; and, the NGOs – World Vision, ERDA and LVF.
This was one of the national events of the Philippine Celebration of World Day Against Child Labor this year’s theme being as “No to Child Labor, Yes to Quality Education”.
LVF presented the actual experiences of child laborers in school and factors affecting their chances of completing basic education. One challenge is to keep child laborers in school until they finish their basic education, given the various reasons that pull them out of school such as bullying, stigmatization, lack of quality education. Another point raised was the increasing number of “inactive” youth or those who are NEET (not in education, employment nor training) who are likely to remain unproductive throughout their lifetime. Lack of quality education will produce graduates who are not competitive in the world of work , diminishing their chances of well paid employment and an inability to meet their families needs.
An important issue at present is the K12 where high school education will be increased by 2 years. Opinion was divided, some seeing the advantages for students and the country, others pointed out that increased financial burden to parents and that many would drop-out early without completing their high school diploma.
There was a strong stance to increase the return of investment of education so that parents will not see the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 as a burden but a way to bridge their children to productivity and self-reliance.
On the issue of child labor, the DepEd is committed to help in profiling child laborers who are in school and detect potential child laborers who are most likely to drop-out in order to reach out to them. Various alternative delivery modes (ADMs) within the formal school system were presented. Valencia National High School in Bukidnon gave a presentation on its school-led monitoring and referral system, highlighting the potential of the formal school system to combat child labor . However, this calls for building the capacity of local schools and soliciting the commitment of school heads in order to realize its potential.
LVF trains CPC kids on Life Skills
Selected kids from LVF’s Child Protection Clinic on Wheels – Bacood Area were given 2-days Life Skills Training last May 28 to 29 at the Laura Vicuña Technology Center in Sta. Mesa, Manila. These kids were selected from the participants of Youth Helping Youth (YEHEY) Camps as they showed leadership potential in running future child-led CPC learning sessions.
To prepare them for the task of giving the CPC learning sessions, LVF Social Worker Ms. Emy India, gave them guidance on discovering their strengths, weaknesses and personal value;, enhancing their self-esteem; and, enhancing their skills wrt communication, problem solving and decision making.
This training also serves as an initial preparation for the YEHEY (Youth Helping Youth) Camp 3 in August 2015 in partnership with Soroptimist International.
PH Vicunians’ Formation Camp in Negros Occidental
On the 26th of May 2015, selected leaders of LVF’s Formation program from Sta. Mesa, Manila sailed on to Negros Occidental for a 4-day summer leadership and team building camp.
Starting their voyage with a morning mass the rest of their 18-hours trip aboard St. Michael the Archangel vessel was filled with formations sessions, dance rehearsals and music jamming on board. The kids were warmly welcomed by LVF Executive Director Sr. Marivic Sta. Ana, FMA who gave them a sumptuous lunch treat of grilled native chicken and garlic rice. Their stay was kindly accommodated by the Sta Ana family at their resort in Escalante.
The kids had so much fun in experiencing a small town fiesta celebration , visiting a lime processing plant and exploring the area; a big change from their crowded urban living environment. Sessions on leadership were held and facilitated by Sr. Phebe Lacse and Sr. Angie Quirante, FMA with two former Vicunians, Michelle Kimura and Charlene Tabunan.
A day of recollection was given by Fr. Palomo SDB to the Vicunians. Each day of their formation was started with a Holy Mass. They also had the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. Sr. Phebe Lacse, FMA gave the rest of the formation sessions. The kids were given ample time to enjoy the resort too, sailing on mini boats and playing volleyball in the courtyard.
On the last day the PH Vicunians served as mass choir for the Flores de Mayo celebration in Hacienda Malihao, Victorias City. Before departing for Manila, a surprise visit to “The Ruins” in Talisay City gave an enchanting experience to the kids having learned about the love story behind the Taj Majal of the Philippines. Together with their packs of Negrense delicacies, they brought home significant lessons in life which they commited to share with their family and peers.
The Philippine Catholic Church fortifies it commitment to stop trafficking in persons through its bold step of gathering more than 70 delegates from 17 dioceses nationwide for an intensive training course on trafficking in persons. Organized by the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) represented by its President, Most Rev. Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD, DD and Talitha Kum- the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons represented by its International Coordinator, Sr. Estrella Castalone, FMA and Asia Coordinator, Sr. Maria Victoria P. Sta. Ana, FMA, this project aims to empower the youth ministers to stop this modern-day slavery.
Experts and well-known counter trafficking advocates lead the provided significant inputs in this 5-day training course held from April 20 to 24, 2015 in Lipa City. They were: Ms. Sally Ujano (National Coordinator of Philippines Against Child Trafficking - PACT); Ms. Jean Enriquez (Executive Director of Coalition Against Trafficking in Women in Asia Pacific- CATWAP); and Sr. Henedina Mananzan from the Religious of Good Shepherd. The Laura Vicuña Foundation’s experiences on Protection, Prevention and Partnership strategies in Counter Trafficking were also presented by its Executive Director Sr. Maria Victoria P. Sta. Ana, FMA. The very rich and interactive discussions harnessed the potentials of youth ministers toward the prevention and protection of children, minors and youth from the grim reality of trafficking in persons specifically in the dioceses which are disaster prone, i.e. frequently devastated by natural calamities: typhoons, earthquakes, floods, landslides.
Four bishops who diligently completed the four-day session namely: Most Rev. Guillermo Afable, DD, Most Rev. Ricardo Baccay, DD, Most Rev. Romulo Dela Cruz, DD, and Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD served as inspiration for the youth ministers to be well-informed, courageous, daring, innovative, vigilant and be Christ-centered and ecclesial in their response in counter-acting human trafficking.
In order to address the reality of trafficking at the diocesan level, some of the commitments were:
The training course was concluded with a show of commitment and strong conviction of implementing their plans to the following dioceses that were represented in this training course: Archdiocese of Tuguegarao; Archdiocese of Jaro; Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, Archdiocese of Manila, Diocese of Kalibo, Archdiocese of Zamboanga, Diocese of Legazpi, Archdiocese of Palo, Prelature of Isabela de Basilan, Diocese of Malolos, Diocese of Daet, Archdiocese of Davao, Diocese of Cubao, Archdiocese of Cebu, Diocese of Digos, Diocese of San Pablo, and the Archdiocese of San Fernando.
DIOCESE OF PASIG VOWS TO END VAW
The LVF Child Protection Clinic on Wheels conducted a learning session on Violence Against Women to more than 50 parishioners of the Diocese of Pasig who committed to end violence against women (VAW) through their “Panatang Makababaihan”. These were outputs of learning session conducted by the LVF’s Social Worker, Mrs. Emy India, last Saturday, March 28, at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Pasig City. Representing the four (4) vicariates of the Diocese of Pasig (Sto. Tomas de Villanueva, Immaculate Conception Cathedral; St. Anne; and, Sto. Nino), the participants pledged to re-echo this learning sessions to their parishioners and encourage their participation in the conduct of related activities in response to VAW.
Through the invitation of Bro. Alex David and his wife Helen from the Family and Life Ministry of the Diocese of Pasig the LVF Child Protection Clinic on Wheels Social Workers were given the opportunity to discuss among 26 men and 29 women parish coordinators of the Diocese of Pasig about some basic concepts on gender vis-à-vis various types of violence committed against women at home, in the workplace and in their community. 2013 statistics of VAW cases were also presented as well as discussion on reasons why men abuse their spouse and why women choose to remain in abusive relationships.
As this activity forms part of the LVF’s Women’s Month Celebration, the learning session was indeed a fitting moment to call on the support of the participants to: 1) help bring back the dignity of women who are being violated as their dignity and self-worth are the foundation of their rights as human persons; and, 2) build a gender-fair society were men and women co-exist and share responsibilities in creating a caring and nurturing environment for their children and the community at large. The male participants were also challenged of coming up with their own learning sessions as men also become victims of domestic violence and that they are not given proper assistance.
CPC KIDS ATTEND INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR STREET CHILDREN
LVF kids and adults from its various Child Protection Clinic areas once again marched along the busy thoroughfare of Roxas Boulevard in support of the advocacy for the promotion of the rights of street children in the Philippines.
With the theme, “Louder Together”, the 20 LVF representatives joined the thousands of marchers assembled in Plaza Rajah Sulayman in Malate, Manila and walked together to Quirino Grandstand for a day of kite flying, storytelling and a short program highlighting the speeches of child advocates and special performances from the street children themselves.
This is the fifth year that the National Council for Social Development, an umbrella organization of Social Development NGOs, organized the event in partnership with the members of its Street and Working Children subcommittee which include Laura Vicuña Foundation.
Edceleen Tabunan and Stephen Kyle Arcan from the LVF Formation Program in Sta. Mesa, Manila participated in the Peace Painting activity organized by the Bridge Builder Foundation Norway, Inc. last April 20, 2015 in their office in Baclaran, Paranaque City. The workshop is about expressing themselves freely in the context of peace and equality.
In his art work entitled “Wish upon a Star”, Stephen Kyle expressed that children should be free and be able to express their feelings. “The Kite Flyer” painted by Edceleen portrays a child full of optimism who dreams of an air pollution-free Philippines.
Their paintings will be displayed in different places in the Philippines where similar peace painting workshops will also be held.
A certified child Advocate
Rosezel Frilles, 11, from CPC – Judge Jimenez attended the Council for the Welfare of Children’s (CWC) Pool of Advocates’ Assessment and Action Planning last April 25, 2015 at the Conference Hall of CWC Building, Apo Street, Quezon City.
An incoming Grade 7 student, Rosezel was among a few selected children from non-government organizations who were given training on child’s rights advocacy last September 2014 at Bayview Hotel, making her a certified child advocate.
The assessment consisted of four (4) workshops facilitated by CWC on the following: a) the characteristics of a true advocate; b) personal strengths and weaknesses while giving the advocacy; c) knowing more about child protection issues; and, d) action planning.
CPC Core Group on Servant Leadership
LVF’s Child Protection Clinic on Wheels 18-member core group of mothers and youth from its partner high risk communities in Metro Manila attended a whole day Servant Leadership Training last April 30 at the Mary Our Help Technical Institute for Women in Mabalacat, Pampanga. In view of the significant role of community members towards effective and wide scale child’s rights advocacy, LVF convened its CPC leaders to empower them as partners in creating exploitation-free grassroots communities.
LVF Executive Director, Sr. Marivic P. Sta. Ana, FMA gave a message of hope, saying that “God has gifted us with life for a purpose, to serve Him in Love by being gifts to others. We have to discover His beautiful plan for us.” With the gift of life, God has graced us with capacities and potentials for greatness and to be winners. She challenged the CPC leaders to see the needs of others and be proactive agents of change and transformation in their communities.
In a focus group discussion, Ms. Cueto drew out their idea of a leader. For the parents, a leader is someone who is able to go beyond self and help others, is sacrificing, persevering and has the ability to lead. For the children, a true leader is a role model, bighearted and can be trusted. To conclude, a leader serves like Jesus the good shepherd.
Sr. Aleth Evangelista, FMA also gave an input on Gender Sensitivity, emphasizing the significant role of society in shaping the perception of people on sex and gender which should be based on the concept of equality rather than mere stereotypes.
More than 1000 mothers from Yolanda-affected areas in Samar and Leyte as well as from CPC partner communities in Metro Manila, Youth Centers of the Salesian Sisters in Laguna and communities in Pasig and Pampanga, took part in the celebration of International Women’s Month being initiated by LVF each year. They were given formation on self-awareness, enhancing self-esteem and protective behavior for the prevention of child sexual abuse. Highlighted in these formations were the significant role that women play in creating gender-fair society by being active partners in nation building and proactive advocates of child protection in their own homes and communities.
Meanwhile, a half-day session on Violence against Women (VAW) was also given by LVF Social Workers to more than 40 Parish Coordinators of the Diocese of Pasig, highlighting the role of the church and parish workers as first responders to cases of VAW. The session was intended to help the participants understand the different faces of VAW, how they will respond to disclosures of violence or abuse from parishioners and map-out their plan to end violence among women.
LVF has partnered with La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) Feed my Sheep Movement (FMSM) administered by Bro. Manny Hilado, FSC.1,100 kilos of Camote were distributed to 2,000 poor children and women from the LVF Child Protection Clinic (CPC) areas and FMA youth centers.
How this movement came about is an interesting story:- one of the students at LSGH initiated it after being touched by the words from scripture "feed my sheep" first uttered to St Peter centuries ago, which were spoken during the Gospel one day at Mass. The Priest's homily mentioned how many of our countrymen don't have enough to eat and he took this to heart and later at home asked his father if they could do something to help. His father owns farmland where Camote is grown and so he offered to give a certain amount each year to be distributed anonymously through LSGH. It’s a beautiful inspiration and a timeless message, perhaps others could join in offering other produce...
Jugend Eine Welt an Austrian charity and LVF donor, invited Sr. Marivic Sta. Ana and Cindy a Vicunian to speak at their January 22, 2015 conference on street children in Vienna, Austria, to share about the situation of children in the Philippines, about the work of LVF and also to hear the testimony of a former street child who had been on the 'journey of hope' from the streets to graduating college and about to embark on a teaching career. They also went on a speaking tour to 12 groups in 5 cities in Austria and Sudtirol, Italy.
Whilst in Europe our two representatives were also invited as guest speakers in a panel interview at the Don Bosco Forum Event held at the University of Bonn in Germany amidst 600 VIP Guests on the occasion of the 200th birthday of St. John Bosco last January 24. Other Guest Speakers were the Minister of Human Development and Cooperation and the General Economer, Fr. Jean Paul Muller, SDB. After the panel discussion, Sr. Marivic and Cindy hosted a parallel session on HOME, a conversation on how LVF is creating a home for children in difficult situations according to the Preventive System of St. John Bosco. It was the first time that a Salesian Sister was invited to speak to the said Annual Forum which has been organized by Don Bosco Missions Procure and Don Bosco Mondo.
The answers of Cindy at the panel discussion were perhaps the most inspiring and moving element of the event. She told how initially they migrated from Leyte and lived in a small shack in Tondo where her mother sold drugs to survive and how later the father took her away and they lived in a wooden pushcart on the streets, salvaging waste to sell and collecting food scraps. At times she asked her step-mother for food and was given glue to sniff to stave off the hunger.
Through a series of events she found herself taken in at the Laura Vicuna Centre and this began a new phase. From the freedom and disorder of the streets to an ordered lifestyle at the home was difficult at first, but little by little transformation took place as her health improved, she started going to school, learnt how to live in a group and received the character and spiritual formation needed through the kindness and diligence of the sisters and staff. She became an advocate for street children, participating in national events and continued her education and is now about to graduate and work as a teacher, moulding young hearts herself.
On the threshold of a bright and independent future, she thinks back to her beginnings and hopes , not only to be a good teacher, but also to be a blessing to others, she hopes that she may be able to help her mother, in spite of her negligence, and that kind of love and forgiveness in her heart is one of the many fruits or hallmarks of the LVF journey of hope.
Our thanks to Kids International for this event and the assistance of Mayor Lani Cayetano and the staff of Taguig city .
As well as the feast day of Laura Vicuna, it was also another special occasion for 4 of the LVC children as they made their first Holy Communion.
Seventy one children every Friday are having a great time at the football training program, an initiative of one of our board members, Mr Francisco Dizon. As well as learning the game there are other lessons and skills acquired by engagement in sporting activities such as learning to work as a team, developing skills through practice, as well as determination to keep trying until the end.
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