Editorial: Keep them in school-A A +A
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
AS RELIEF assistance to affected families in Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, and Agusan slowly shift to rehabilitation and recovery mode, a few hardy groups are giving special focus on keeping the children in school, especially those who are at a highly exploitable age for drudgery and to be prostituted.
The danger of trafficking can never be over-emphasized.
In a situation where hopelessness can prevail, there will be those willing to beg, steal or borrow, but worse than that, sell.
In a situation where hopelessness can prevail, the body can be the last remaining possession that the young will be very willing to sell.
We can’t blame them, we can only make sure that not one of them leaves school to try to reach out, unguided and unprotected, toward what can be perceived in their young minds as the light of hope -- which is actually the beguiling promises of human traffickers.
We will continue to pound on this reminder as we all continue to think of ways to help in our own small ways; help that can actually have far-reaching effects, way beyond when the last meal has been prepared from the relief goods.
While many continue to distribute food, which are actually highly appreciated because these ensures that the most basic need is addressed, a few groups are now moving on to provide for the schools and schoolchildren. Among others, the Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (Mincode) is gathering help to ensure that third and fourth year college students of the Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology who come from the communities destroyed by Pablo can continue to go to school, at least up to March, with the fourth year students being able to graduate and become better equipped to find decent employment.
Smart Communication is sending over school supplies for the pupils of Cateel Elementary School in Cateel, and Baganga Central Elementary School and Lambajon Elementary School in Baganga, all in Davao Oriental.
There can be more we are not yet aware of. But let us extend our support to such groups because in the end, real recovery comes when the dignity of the helped is not compromised.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 10, 2013.