AS Christmas nears, the joy of giving and receiving gifts fills the air. Yet, amidst this excitement, the season might lack its magic for those spending it behind bars.
Ateneo de Davao Legal Advocacy Works (AdDLAW), in partnership with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) – Davao Region and Davao City Jail – Annex, introduces the "Grant-a-Wish Project."
This initiative displays a Christmas tree adorned with wishes from persons deprived of liberty (PDLs). Faculty and students are encouraged to fulfill these wishes, aiming to bring holiday cheer to those detained.
Edren Kaye Castillo, president of AdDLAW Supreme Advocate, highlights the project's goal to exhibit compassion and legal advocacy. This effort aims to provide hope and joy to PDLs during the festive season.
Through the "Grant-a-Wish Project," AdDLAW seeks to embody values of compassion, supporting marginalized communities like PDLs. Their role as a legal advocacy group is to instill hope and kindness among these individuals.
Acting as intermediaries, AdDLAW coordinates between donors and PDLs, ensuring that each wish is granted. Their collaboration with BJMP and AdDU builds a strong framework for the project's success.
AdDLAW leads communication campaigns, engages volunteers, and coordinates gift deliveries. They aim not only to fulfill wishes but also to promote kindness and compassion within the community.
This initiative hopes to make a difference in the lives of PDLs and their families, emphasizing the spirit of giving during the holiday season. The project underscores the importance of lending a helping hand to those in need.
“More than just coordination, this project is our chance to promote the welfare of the PDLs and their families. And besides, the Christmas season is the best time to foster a spirit of kindness and compassion,” Castillo said.
Faith del Rosario, 24, one of the wish granters for the PDLs, shared that it's often called the season of giving, prompting the question: why not share the blessings they freely have with those who lack them?
"Being someone's secret Santa feels truly heartwarming and fulfilling. It's like lifting someone's burden by offering these simple things," del Rosario said.
The campaign also aims to raise awareness among friends, family, and others about the significance of even small acts of kindness for PDLs and their families.
Even the smallest acts of kindness can deeply affect those in need, reflecting the genuine essence of Christmas. Initiatives like the "Grant-a-Wish Project" allow us to unite in shaping a world defined by compassion and empathy. AJA