GOLDEN JUBILEE_CLOSING CEREMONIES (6)

A Day for Women and Children to Rise

By: Kristine Grace G. Umali 11-STEMSt. Bridget School, Quezon City has been a home for girls and young women for 51 years already, and this has been made possible by the sisters of the Religious of the Good Shepherd Congregation. As students in St. Bridget, we have been taught about women empowerment all through our lives, and have been honed to be physically, mentally and spiritually strong to survive in any situation, whether favorable or not. However, not everyone has been given the opportunities that we have had.Some women experienced the misfortune of being abused through violence, oppression, trafficking, prostitution, and the likes. To raise awareness on this issue, the Religious of the Good Shepherd Congregation and some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) invited two students from each class to attend an event last November 25, in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children. Coinciding with this was the launching of the posters and brochures or pamphlets that would be part of the campaign against violent acts on women.

Before walking to the convent where the activities will be held, we prepared a banner with a message stating the purpose of this campaign. Although the weather was not on our side during our short walk along Aurora Boulevard, we still pushed through carrying our banners and displaying our orange ribbons and wrist bands. The color orange was chosen by the United Nations to symbolize a brighter future without violence.

Upon reaching the convent, one of the sisters led the opening prayer, which was followed by a dance performance of the girls from the Euphrasian Community. We then listened to an explanation of the purpose of the campaign, and its ultimate goal of eliminating violence against women. Next, we watched a short skit presented by some girls wearing masks. They acted out real-life experiences of victims of human trafficking who ended up in prostitution. What caught my attention was the strength of these women who were able to endure all of the abuses and to escape from their miserable situation. Eventually, they were able to find inner peace in rehabilitation and in the company of those who suffered the same fate like them. They found solace in each other because no one can understand them better than someone who really underwent abuse and felt what it was like. The last part was the launching of the posters that will be displayed in the LRT stations, as well as the pamphlets which will be distributed to the public. They also requested us to show our support for the abused women and children by wearing orange every 25th of the month.

Attending this event was a meaningful and eye-opening experience. At the end, I realized that the monthly convocations in our school are not enough. We need to take action, not only inside our school premises, but also outside the campus. I am glad to know that there are people who are already taking the initiative to put an end to violence. I hope that as Bridgetines, we will also actively involve ourselves in fighting the abuses committed against girls and women. I hope that we will take action, not only because we are partners with the Good Shepherd Congregation, but also because we Bridgetines are girls and women, too. Let us rise to the occasion to help eliminate from our society any form of abuse against women.

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