Strokes of the Soul to Fight Human Trafficking in Manila

The Manila leg of “Sounds, Strokes and Scribbles (SSS) of the Soul to Fight Human Trafficking” was held on Saturday, 22 November 2014 afternoon at 6/F Benedict Building of Quiapo Church. Through the support and assistance of MAPSA, as well Talitha Kum and Network of Families Living in the Street, seventy-three (73) participants from 5 Catholic Schools (Paco, Ermita and San Isidro Catholic Schools; Espiritu Santo and San Diego Parochial Schools) one Barangay (Talayan) and one partner organization (Kariton Empowerment Center) participated.

This is the third and last leg of the Strokes (Poster making contest) component of the SSS to Fight Human Trafficking, which includes an orientation workshop on Human Trafficking, then an on-the-spot poster making contest for those between 12 and 18 years old who are interested to join.

Starting with an Opening Prayer by Edil Guyano (Kuya Edil), followed by introduction by Linda Noche, both from CBCP-NASSA, the orientation and input on the issue followed as the main highlight of the event. Kuya Edil presented the “what, how, why, who and where” of Human Trafficking, as well as the 5 ways of possible response as students. At the Open Forum, facilitated by Gigi Tupas of IJM and Linda Noche, St Josephine Bakhita (Feast Day on February 8) was introduced as the patron Paint of victims of human trafficking; and each school/ group shared their views on human trafficking before and after the orientation, as well as their insights.

The students agreed that slavery is still present today, and that although some have made their own research before, they appreciated the “qualifications” – the act, means and purpose – to determine if Human Trafficking happened; and in general, had deeper understanding on the issue: from selling of persons to selling of human organs, the question of prostitution/ sex workers as being trafficked or doing it voluntarily, that even parents are possible human traffickers if they are not aware, that it is an issue of human dignity, and that students and youth can still do something to fight human trafficking, like protecting younger siblings – these rich reflections brought them to the actual drawing session.

A total of 37 students participated in the on-the-spot drawing and were provided with illustration boards, oil pastel, pencils and erasers sponsored by the Inter-Agency Council Against Human Trafficking (IACAT), while three 3 opted to write essays on-the-spot.

The deadline of the poster making contest would be Sunday, November 30, to be submitted on-the-spot or sent by hand to NASSA. Essay contest deadline was November 22. Results of both contests will be announced in the first or second week of December.

Earlier on November 8, the Cebu leg of the Strokes of the Soul was held at His Dwelling Christian Church and 57 poster entries were submitted on-the-spot.

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