Strokes of the Soul to fight Human Trafficking spearheaded in QC

The first PIMAHT activity for the “Sounds, Strokes and Scribbles (SSS) of the Soul to Fight Human Trafficking” – led by CBCP (represented by NASSA and Talitha Kum Philippines) – was held at St Peter’s Parish: Shrine of Leaders, Quezon City on 17 October 2014.

 

One hundred youth members (81) and leaders (24) of various parishes and schools (Batasan Hills National High School, FEU-NRMF, Dona Rosario High School, Tala High School, Women and Children’s Rights Advocates (WCRA), Brgy Bagong Silangan Elementary School, PUP, Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST), H. Bautista Elamentary School, Puso sa Puso Edukasyon Inc., Bestlink College of the Philippines (CBP), University of Manila, University of Caloocan City, Parokya g Mabuting Pastol (PMP), Child Development Center (CDC) and nearby Barangay Child Protection Units (Batasan Hills, Sta. Monica, Nagkaisan Nayon, Old Balara, Holy Spirit, Novaliches Bayan) in Novaliches participated and the 12-18 year olds who wanted to join the Poster-Making Contest quickly grabbed the 50 sets of drawing materials available and sponsored by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

 

With the theme of “Human Trafficking Wakasan, Dangal Ipaglaban, Kamulatan Kailangan,” the “Strokes of the Soul” component which includes Human Trafficking Orientation and Poster-Making Contest, began with registration and distribution of drawing materials manned by Talitha Kum Philippines and International Justice Movement (IJM) teams.  The proceedings were conducted in Filipino, starting with a prayer led by CBCP-NASSA (Secretariat member of PIMAHT) Edil Guyano, which set the tone by recognizing the collaborative effort of the organizers involved, as well as participants from various groups in the Diocese of Novaliches and nearby Barangays, asking for openness in realizing the issue of Human Trafficking, reflection and guidance for personal action.

 

Linda Noche of CBCP-NASSA then introduced the organizers and rationale of the orientation-and-poster making contest.  The event is an activity of Philippine Inter-faith Movement Against Human Trafficking (PIMAHT) – composed of 3 major Church “councils:” the CBCP (Catholic), NCCP (Protestant Christians) and PCEC (Evangelical) – as one of the joint efforts to stop Human Trafficking and protect human dignity.  The basic and common reason for coming together is the belief that all human beings are made in the image of God and with dignity, and that Human Trafficking violates human rights and human dignity.  The Poster-making component of the “SSS of the Soul to Fight Human Trafficking,” led by CBCP (NASSA and Talitha Kum Philippines), is just one part of the campaign to widen awareness of Human Trafficking, especially among youth (students and out-of-school), which will culminate on the celebration of International Day Against Trafficking (IDAT) on 6th December with a Choral Fest (Sounds of the Soul) in Paranaque.

 

Sr. Adel Abamo, SDS  officially started the orientation by asking the young participants their views about Human Trafficking, such as a 15 year-old girl and 18 year-old boy from different family backgrounds.  This was followed by a film showing on child pornography – “Red Leaves Falling” which silenced the participants for a while.  They were then led to reflection and sharing by Dalie Adiao-Garcia of Talitha Kum Philippines.  Eventually, the participants became less shy as they shared their feelings, and answers to questions: Who are the main characters? what are their roles? why do you think Human Trafficking happened in the story? What did the main character do to protect her dignity?)  One of the most controversial questions discussed was about the mother in the story: did she commit trafficking?  Why/ why not?  Can she be blamed?  What are the other issues involved/ to be considered?

 

After this was a more structured input on basics of human trafficking: what and how; the Act, Means and Purpose qualifications; emerging forms of human trafficking; and how to call for help.  Some of the significant questions raised include What would you do if your parent asked you (a minor) to work at an unknown place instead of study in school?  and What does a working mother have to share about the issue of child labor?  The replies of the participants showed the awareness level of students nowadays about child labor laws and the need to discuss with parents in a proper manner in case they were in the position of the main character of the film show.

 

At the end of the discussion, mechanics of the Essay Writing and Poster-Making contests were announced to the participants.  They are invited to express their learning on the topic: “My Battle Against Human Trafficking” or “Ang Laban ko Laban sa Human Trafficking” either in drawing or in writing and submit on or before deadline on 15 November 2014.

 

Poster making contestants were allowed to start their poster-making on-the-spot or bring the materials home, with agreement that the Diocese of Novaliches groups will submit the contest entries through Talitha Kum Philippines by October 24.  The program ended with registration of those who wish to join the essay contest, distribution of “Stop Trafficking” T-shirts from IACAT, and fellowship of snacks and photo-taking.  At the end of the Program, 18 participants indicated they would join the Essay Writing contest.

 

The next Human Trafficking orientation with poster-making contest will be held at OZ AVR, Adamson University in Manila, on Monday, 27 October 2014, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.  All youth, especially 12-18 years old are invited to join.

 

This is a joint effort of Church (PIMAHT) and official agency (IACAT) to raise awareness in fighting Human trafficking among the youth.  More information about the SSS contests to fight Human Trafficking is available at the PIMAHT Facebook Page (Community): “Philippine Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking – Pimaht” or link: <https://www.facebook.com/pages/Philippine-Interfaith-Movement-Against-Human-Trafficking-Pimaht/288890054609008?sk=timeline>

 

Other efforts of the Catholic Church in raising awareness on Human Trafficking are the workshop campaigns organized by the CBCP Committee on Women nationwide, and a Pastoral Statement by the CBCP, as well as a special Sunday Mass for the intention of Human Trafficking victims and survivors on 14 December in all parishes.

 

 

20 October, 2014

 

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