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Concern for the innocents

By: Sofia Aliño Logarta December 27,2017 - 09:02 PM


The Redemptorists Fr. Jerry and Fr. Chris joyfully expressed gratitude for the overflowing of generosity in response to the calls for sharing in celebration of Christmas. There was so much surplus that Fr. Chris and the other distributors went beyond the parish, reaching as far as the Basilica area. The beneficiaries were overjoyed, especially the young; they swarmed around the distributors so much so that Fr. Chris commented that now he knows what Pope Francis meant when he said the shepherds should smell like the sheep.

In his Christmas Mass Fr. Chris narrated the moving experience of having the Mass in Bethlehem where the birth actually happened. The participants actually shed tears. He reminded us about that supreme act of surrender to be in that manger, a helpless, vulnerable infant.

The AFP report on the Pope’s Christmas Mass says: “he spoke on how migrants had been ‘driven from their land’ because of leaders willing to ‘shed innocent blood’”. Fear of the loss of power or its diminution continues to victimize children. Dramatic media reports show that children suffer the most in wars. The death of their parents and the destruction of their schools make us ask, what kind of the future will they have?

The assertion of power in marriage resulting in domestic violence affects wives and mothers directly; but hidden trauma within the children darkens their future. Often these give rise to confusion of loyalties, the exposure causes fear for relationships and failures in these. Intense anger could result in violence directed towards the father or a repeat of the father’s behavior.

Zonta II of Cebu is a local chapter of the international organization that aims for the empowerment of women. Over the years it has had a series of projects to combat domestic violence which have been called “Dangoyngoy sa Kahilum”. Actually the activities in these series of projects have been designed to make women realize that they are not helpless, something can be done, the silence has to end. Zonta II for some time has supported the Pink Room. Victims of violence come to the Pink Room for medical examination and certification on the physical effects of domestic violence.

Zontians also provided trainings and rights awareness sessions to educators, parents, and librarians.

The Legal Alternatives for Women (LAW) Center, Inc. in their last show for “Sa Mata sa Kababayen-an” aired on CCTN invited Zonta II leaders, Dr. Vivian Alix-Seno and Ms. Marilou Rodriguez-Cañizares. They oriented program hosts, Atty. Virginia Palanca-Santiago (LAW Center, Inc. president) and Ms. Fe Cabatingan on their organization and its activities. They were especially enthusiastic on their recent project, “Alimbucad”. They described the project in response to the question on the presence of a preventive measure for domestic violence.

The term, “Alimbucad” means a bud on the verge of blooming. Basically, it is a reading project. The center of the project is the parent reading to the child. Parents, teachers, and librarians were oriented regarding the project. Many objectives have been reached through the reading activity. One is learning to read, which of course leads to many other learnings. Then there is the emergence of a sense of self-worth. Many of the children involved in Alimbucad have won in various contests. After the reading, the children prepare an artwork associated with what has been read. A sense of belongingness within the children as well as among all the participants arises. What a nurturing activity; what a joy!

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