Artistic healing

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By Giano M. Libot

I have issues

Thursday, May 22, 2014


MAY 7, 2014, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Ormoc sub-office held an Art Contest in the City Hall of Ormoc. The event which had the central theme “Abante Leyteño para sa Maayong Kaugmaon” is part of a series of shows IOM conducted to commemorate the 6-months after Yolanda. The participants of the art contest were children aged 10 – 18 years old who come from the evacuation camps as well as the community.

With the theme “Abante Ormocanon: Pagpahimulos ug Pang-abuso, Wagtangon!” (Onward Ormocanon: Stop Exploitation and Abuse) the children were asked to create their artworks through a central theme on counter-trafficking and Sex and Gender based violence (SGBV).

A week before the event, the participants underwent through a protection workshop conducted by IOM Ormocs protection team. They were made aware of the problems that concerns communities especially in western Leyte which have high cases of trafficking.

The six months after Yolanda commemoration is a step from IOM in an effort to increase awareness of the concerns still facing the affected populations hit by the massive storm, but also as a salute to the integrity of the people who continue to overcome the obstacles and challenges in rebuilding.

“Itong event na ito ay binabahagi namin bilang pasasalamat sa katatagan ng mga Ormocanon, naway maging inspirasyon ang inyong mga likha para ma ipakita sa lahat na talagang umaabante na ang Ormoc (We offer this event to express our gratitude in honor of the resiliency of the people of Ormoc. We hope that the pieces that will be made today in this art contest will be a source of inspiration as you continue to show everyone that Ormoc is truly moving forward),” IOM National Protection Officer Romina Santa Clara said as she gave the welcoming remarks of the event.

The children who participated were all excited as they were allowed the chance to express their thoughts and ideas through art. Rhyl Plaza aged 15 explains, “That he wanted to show a story of success, that through the help of international organizations and those from other countries, we are able to not only overcome Yolanda, but also combat human trafficking.”

Rhyl won the individual category with this art work depicting a contrast of the perils of human trafficking and the hope of a brighter future under global cooperation. While the group of children from Camp Can-untog won the group category.

Over 69 children participated in the event, their art pieces will be added into a collection as part of IOMs advocacy against trafficking and SGBV, this also served as a means for them to heal themselves through the use of the arts.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 22, 2014.

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