Saturday, November 24, 2012

Domestic Violence: A Social Stigma

Domestic violence is a topic that is considered as taboo in the Philippines. 

It is a social stigma, an issue that is not often spoken about in public. 

Because of the ensuing complications particularly within the context of family relationships in Philippine society, victims of domestic violence are often than not, left to fend for themselves. 

It is an issue that affects all of us – if not directly then indirectly and the problem, if not tackled head- on, would have serious repercussions in the future for it would always be the children of affected families who suffer the most. 

Charter members of the Rotary Club of Panglao Island
When we brainstormed for our club’s ideal flagship community project, we agreed on a project that would be our humble contribution to address the problem on domestic violence particularly in Panglao Island. 

If realized, it would truly be responsive to the needs of the community and can be used as a benchmark for the Rotary ideal of “Service above Self” 

Details regarding the project were finetuned during the meeting held at the abode of Wim & Daisy Zanstra. 

Present were Rtns. Nila Montero, Irena Heberer, Maricel Madrona, Mary Ruth Gango, Wim Zanstra, Fr. Felix Hora, Art Bagcat, this blogger and Project Chair Howard Hoffman.

The said project is the proposed residential and livelihood training center for victims of domestic violence. 

The structure which will stand on a lot donated by Rtns. Nila & Frank Montero, will provide a temporary haven, offer medical and psychological interventions and lastly, help restore the center’s residents’ integrity and dignity through the acquisition of livelihood training and skills so they would achieve financial independence and be prepared for re- integration into society. 

Admittedly, it is a daunting task that can easily challenge our group’s cohesion, unity and camaraderie. 

Concerns have been raised not only on the project’s legalities, logistical requirements, sustainability and organizational set- up but also on our commitment, confidence and spirit of volunteerism for the project. 

Can we take on the project? Can we handle the pressure and the obstacles that would diminish and lessen our enthusiasm? 

The answer to these recurring doubts and misgivings was finally addressed during one of our B.O.D. (Board of Directors) Meeting through the most unlikely channels named Maria Aluna Lucen & Bless Losbanos who works for HPI. 

When they heard from their boss about the proposed project and the staggering amount of money needed for it, they readily and enthusiastically came up with a plan. 

They revealed to us that all 20 of them who work in HPI have agreed to donate P10 of their weekly salary to the project as their way of expressing their confidence as well as their small contribution to the project so that it will take off and be a big help for the community 

We were rendered speechless and we felt humbled by the gesture of the two girls. Truly, it validated everything that we have felt for the project. 

If two unassuming Panglao residents from humble backgrounds could step forward to help in an act of faith and hope, why can’t we? We cannot afford to disappoint them. Now is the time to use our collective efforts to realize this dream project and make a difference in people’s lives 

Remember when Rotarian Wim Zanstra cautioned us in his May 15 bulletin editorial that “Only when the stakeholders see a need for this initiative will our Rotary Women’s House be realized and become a success”. 

With hardworking & selfless Rotarians like Howard Hoffman leading the way and with the likes of Maria Aluna and Bless stepping forward to motivate and inspire us, we can confidently say that the battle is already half- won. 

For details: Please click on the following link: 

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