SPEAKERS & DISCUSSANTS

 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: An Overview

+ CECILIA FLORES-OEBANDA

Cecil is Founder and President of the Visayan Forum Foundation, a national NGO in the Philippines that promotes the rights and development of marginalized migrants, especially domestic workers, and trafficked women and children.

Cecil spent most of her life as a freedom fighter and worked with the urban poor, peasants, sugar plantation workers, women, youth and children. Because of her struggle, she became a political prisoner for four years under the Marcos regime. She was released from detention as a result of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution. Immediately after her release, she started working on the blueprint for the Visayan Forum Foundation.

She is presently the Convenor of the Multi Sectoral Network Against Trafficking in persons, a national alliance of civil society, government and private groups that provides immediate response mechanisms in the prevention of trafficking, prosecution of offenders, and protection, rescue, recovery and reintegration of trafficked persons.

A recipient of the 2005 Anti-Slavery Award by Anti-Slavery International-the world's oldest human rights organization-Cecil was recognized by the UK government as one of the Modern-Day Abolitionists in the celebration of the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in March 2007. She was conferred the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship 2008 at Oxford University in the UK by the Skoll Foundation, with Former US President and Nobel Peace Laureate Jimmy Carter as Guest of Honor. In June 2008, the US State Department named her one of its Heroes Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery in its 2008 Trafficking in Persons Report. Ms. Flores-Oebanda was awarded the first Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor by the US Department of Labor in January 15, 2009.

+ "RUBY"

Ruby was only 15 when she and five other girls (four of whom were minors) were on their way to Puerto Galera where they were intercepted by the Anti-Trafficking Task Force at the Port of Batangas. Little did they know that they were bound for a club to work as prostitutes in Mindoro's famous tourist destination. With help from the Visayan Forum and the International Justice Mission - Manila, Ruby and another fellow child recruit filed a case of Qualified Trafficking against their recruiter. After four years of court battles and epic harassment from their trafficker, Ruby and her fellow victims were finally able to achieve justice in a landmark case, being the very first in the Philippines that was decided in favor of the victims.

Ruby has been reunited with her family and is studying social work in a university in Manila.

+ "ROSE"

At 12 years, she left her family to escape the domestic abuse at the hands of people who were supposed to love and protect her. From her tribal community in the South, she went with a recruiter who promised her a good job in the city. Instead she was made to work nightly in a brothel, with no rest, no pay and much beating. After many months and a series of escape attempts, she was finally rescued and sent to the Visayan Forum for shelter and psychosocial intervention.

She is no employed with a company that manufactures beauty products as Assistant Secretary.

Aside from her regular work, Rose is also takung up a home study program, as she is determined to finish her education and send her siblings to school.

The Philippine Social Enterprise Model: How it Addresses Social Problems

+ Tess Ganzon

Maria Teresa Medrano-Ganzon is the Managing Director of Bangko Kabayan, Inc., a Batangas-based rural bank, presently with 15 branches and P1.8B in resources, offering financial services focused on the development of micro and small enterprises in the Philippine countryside.

Shaped by early exposure to both national concerns and strong Christian communitarian spirituality, Tess has endeavored to weld business efficiencies, development concerns and faith-based motivation to grow a business organization with a strong orientation towards service to the rural community and for the same to evolve into a value-driven institution. She graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines (A.B. Journalism) and holds a Masters Degree in Social Entrepreneurship (MESODEV) Superior Performance from the Asian Institute of Management in Manila and has finished a special program on strategic management of microfinance institutions at the Harvard Business School.

+ Anne Meloto-Wilk

Anna Meloto-Wilk heads Gandang Kalikasan Inc., a social enterprise that manufactures bath and beauty products under the brand Human Nature. She and her sister established this business in November 2008, to provide a means of livelihood and empowerment for Gawad Kalinga (GK) communities.

Yes, Anna is the daughter of Tony Meloto, the visionary founder of Gawad Kalinga, and recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2006 (Asia's equivalent of the Nobel Prize), for establishing GK villages now flourishing in six locations all over the country as well as in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Not only is Anner her father's daughter, she shares with him a passionate love of nature. Now a mother of two young girls and vociferously eco-conscious, "going green" was a no-brainer. Sourcing her ingredients locally (virgin coconut oil, citronella, lemongrass, guava, plants and herbs that are proudly Filipino) she has managed to grow the business to 14 branches, with one recently launched in the US.

+ Annabel Bonsol

MJ Rag Recycling Factory in Bauan, Batangas, of Annabel Bonsol began when she accidentally stumbled upon a rag while selling throw pillows to a customer. The customer ordered the rag, thinking she was selling it.

With a starting capital of Php300 (seven in today's dollars), MJ Rag currently delivers tons of rags, a very labor-intensive endeavor that provides livelihood for 85 families.

A former barangay health worker, Annabel also serves as a counselor in her community and was able to convince the city mayor to adopt her business as a livelihood program. Plans are under way to expand her warehouse and generate even greater employment opportunities.

In 2009, she won the Citibank Most Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year Award, a good place from where to develop the business and client base.

Exemplars of Effective Alternative Learning System (ALS) Programs

+ Harnin "Kuya Bon" Manalaysay

KB or Kuya Bon is Harnin M. Manalaysay, a volunteer by vocation since 1985, a troubled youth in his early days turned completely around, and college professor after graduating Marine Engineering. For more than two decades, he has mentored and supported thousands of kids to become professionals and succeed. He founded Club 8586, Inc. in May 1985, a people development organization that supports budding organizations, community projects and educational efforts to help needy but willing-to-learn kids. He is instrumental in co-founding the Dynamic Teen Company of CNN Hero 2009 Efren Peñaflorida; the Mind You Rights Group of Children's Peace Prize 2009 finalist Emanuel Bagual; and the Caring Children Club of young wonder Kesz Valdez.

+ Efren Peñaflorida, Jr.

Efren Peñaflorida, Jr. is the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year and founder of the Dynamic Teen Company. From a teen who had no interest in finishing high school to an advocate of learning, "Kuya F" completed two college courses, his Masters in the University of the Philippines and his Doctor of Pedagogy degree at the National Teachers College in 2010. He and his team operate the pushcart schools or Kariton Klasrums to give aid to thousands of children hungry to learn, craving for hope and a hero in their lives.

+ Eman Bagual

Emanuel Bagual was a former garbage scavenger and child laborer in Cavite. He founded Mind Your Rights advocacy to acquaint his fellow teens and urban poor children of their rights. He is a community development student of the University of the Philippines, a youth speaker, a columnist of the Manila Bulletin and a young entrepreneur. Eman, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for Children in 2009, believes that one is never too young to give back to society and he lives that principle to the utmost.

+ Cris "Kesz" Valdez

Cris Valdez is fondly called Kesz by friends and co-volunteers. He was a former street beggar and a labor-exploited child. For a boy who often slept in dumpsites and a public cemetery, health, hygiene and education were of no value. Now he is a grade 5 student, spearheading a campaign for cleanliness and personal hygiene, encouraging his peers to love learning by reading through the group Caring Children. Kesz lives and breathes the dictum that one is never too poor nor too weak to think of ways to help others.

Exemplars of Effective ALS Programs (Problems and Solutions by Everyday Heroes & Heroines)

+ Fr. Bienvenido M. Disu, CM

Believing that history called him personally to make a difference in the lives of the poorest of the poor, especially in the rural areas, Fr. Ned turned down a very promising career at the Central Bank of the Philippines and chose to work for the poor. He joined the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers of the Congregation Mission, which at its core believes that "the poor are our lords and masters."

For the past 31 years, he has dedicated himself to the "empowerment of the poor" convinced that only the empowered poor person can break the cycle of poverty. He lives with the poor in their habitat--sharing their daily lives (farming, fishing, harvesting), sleeping under trees and on top of benches and desks in schools and public halls. When not doing administrative and professional work he helps organize medical missions, rolling scholarships, income-generating projects and housing for the rural poor.

+ Sister Emerose Tumlos Nemenzo

Sister Emerose has been doing missionary work for the past 33 years, serving the poorest communities of Masbate, Negros Occidental, Souther Leyte, Thailand and now Cebu and Lapu-Lapu.

Together with another fellow missionary, she set up Operation Mercy offering educational assistance programs. One of the biggest challenges they faced was the lack of funding support but this did not deter them from developing creative ways to implement their programs which include a Child Care Development Center offering daycare, pre-school and kindergarten education for indigent children. Sister Emerose organized Classroom without Borders, a mobile classroom for those who have no means to get to school. Her Alternative Learning System for out-of-school youth, adults, and mothers is widely copied.

Presentation by enda vietnam

+ Tran Ai My

Tran Ai My is a Vietnamese development officer who trained in Community Development in the Philippines. She is a member of Social Development Research and Consultancy (SDRC), an NGO (the official term for a collective of professional persons working in applied social sciences in Vietnam). Her work has been with NGOs (local and international), bi-lateral and management organizations, mostly in the Mekong Delta, and with UN agencies over 20 years. These consultancies have been mainly on women and children trafficking, gender equality and domestic violence, health, water and sanitation in remote areas where appropriate community development and training are critical. Since 2005 she has worked with enda (Environment and Development in Action) Vietnam on gender audit and mainstreaming.

+ Pham Thi Viet Ha

Pham Thi Viet Ha, a Sociology graduate from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, is a young lady with a mission. She has been a social worker since 2004, working in urban community-based development. From 2008 until the present, she has been involved in community development projects in Danang City of enda in Vietnam.