Tuesday, September 23, 2008

From nursing school to the mountains of Negros

Rachelle Mae, R.N.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Speak out SunStar Daily:

“REMOVE the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice; and let the oppressed go free…” –Isaiah 58:6

She studied nursing like the others who want to work abroad, seek greener pastures and heal foreign patients—-and she excelled।

But she ended up in the mountains and forests of Dauin, Negros Oriental to be with the ordinary folks, the farm workers and peasants, and learn from them।

Rachelle Mae Palang R।N., 22, who died on Oct. 18, 2008, was outstanding in her chosen field in the academe, activism and revolution.

Her death added new meaning to what nursing care should be।

Her death debunked the myth that Filipino nurses are only for overseas work, that Filipino nurses are only for hospitals, and that Filipino nurses are only good in nursing foreign client

Rachelle died right in the heart of a revolution, right in the heart of her motherland, caring for and helping the sick––the victims of class oppression and exploitation in our cancerous society.

It was truly inspiring

As an alumnus of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), I met Rachelle almost four years ago when I was invited by the Vital Signs (official student publication of Velez College) to interview applicants for members of the editorial board।

Since then we met often, conversed on various issues, from academic life, love and relationships, and activism and revolution।

I last saw her on May 10, 2008 during the nuptial of our fellow activists।

Sadder but wiser, we always learn lessons, appreciate life and progress as we move along।

Rachelle’s death is proof that adherence to and actual participation in the national democratic cause will continue to inspire the youth and students।

This is particularly true for intellectuals like her, who frequently ask questions on issues affecting the lives of millions of people।

That has been the case since the late ‘60s with the likes of Lorena Barros, Emman Lacaba, Arnulfo Ortiz and MarvinMarquez, to name a few।

Rachelle, my good comrade and friend, you will never be forgotten।

You will always be in our hearts and minds।

The ordinary people, including your ever increasing comrades, will always cherish your memory.
History will judge your supreme sacrifice and you will inspire others to make their own sacrifices for the oppressed masses of workers and peasants.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

AKAP Bata - Cebu

Akap Bata Seminar launches Community and Home Based Early Child एजूकेशन

Akap Bata Philippines launched a seminar on “Revised Manual for Daycare Workers” last July 5-8 at Calajo-an Daycare Center, Lower Calajo-an, Minglanilla, Cebu. Attended by 40 daycare worker-trainees from different parts of Metro Cebu, the seminar is seen by child advocates as an initial step towards strengthening community and home-managed child care program for the urban and rural poor in the mega city.

Akap Bata plans to set up centers in Metro Cebu to serve children’s and women’s needs for early child care and development, adolescent and maternal health.

The program emphasizes building of capacities of the communities and families to take proper care of the young from conception to under five years says Ms. Cherry Castillo-Malaga, Akap Bata’s Training Coordinator.

Taking care of the young by providing them with proper care at the earliest stage of their life and early education strengthens the role of the poor in transforming society, says Sarah Alforque-Dayoha of the Women’s Resource Center of Cebu, Inc. (WRCC). WRCC is Akap Bata’s program partner and current project officer of Akap Bata’s Regional Field Unit 7.

She adds, ‘this seminar will lead to the launching of community and home based centers for children, and later, with the help of barangays, NGOs and Churches, comprehensive programs of the Community of Hope project will follow. Community of Hope is Akap Bata’s model to provide ‘continuum of family and community based and sustainable care and services through the life stages of women and children’.

Mr. Roxanne Omega-Doron of the National Council for the Protection of Workers’ Rights and one of the speakers during the seminar affirmed the key role of education in transforming societies and individuals. “Community and family participation in this huge task of educating the young must be enhanced and supported”, he stresses.

Ms. Catalina Jacela of Philippine Scholars elaborated on the role of daycare workers in establishing the values of human dignity and human rights to the young. She says that as early as possible, our children should be aware that as human beings, persons have rights that must be respected, enhanced and promoted. “What we need now are defenders and promoters of human rights, and we are hopeful of the results of this program, especially to the children and women”, she adds.

Other speakers include Ms. Ruth Mendoza-Tibus of the Association of Women and Theology.

Two volunteers from SERVE IRELAND, an international NGO based in Ireland sits as observers during the entire duration of the seminar and will immerse to different communities with daycare funded project in the next few years.

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