In the State of the Marginalized Address 2017 presented by the Ateneo Student Catholic Action, in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Social Development and Project Laan Inc., the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. (HLAF) participated as plenary speaker at SOMA 2017 Urban Poor Risks and Vulnerabilities: Housing, Public Health and Youth-at-Risk at the Ateneo de Manila University last April 1.
HLAF Executive Director, Atty. Rommel Alim Abitria, gave a lecture on youth-at-risk entitled “The marginalized and the Criminal Justice System". Also, HLAF facilitated a workshop to a set of participants about how the stakeholders can raise an advocacy campaign about the youth-at-risk.
“Equity rather than equality. Better yet, liberation and empowerment is what we need…” Atty. Abitria said about how we should approach today’s society.
In the event, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Senior Technical Officer of the Program for Informal Settler Families, Mr. Jethro de Castro, was also invited to discuss the Housing: Informal Settler Families in danger areas of Metro Manila and Resettlement Government of urban poor sector and; Health Sciences Program Director, Dr. Norman Dennis Marquez, discussed the Public Health Risk: the Marginalized Mental Health.
Also, HLAF provided a booth on the activity where the participants can browse HLAF programs and services. The booth included related informarion education communication (IEC) campaign materials. The booth was a part of the series of caravan HLAF is conducting to raise awareness to the target audience about HLAF's program and advocacies.
Along with Atty. Cristine Antoniette Ramos from Alternative Law Groups, Inc. (ALG), HLAF Senior Community Organizer, Ms. Claudette Almadin, RSW and HLAF Communications Officer, Ms. Ma. Luisa Bautista, three 3rd year BS Social Work interns from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila namely: John Lemuel Gardose, Patrick Yeoj Peraz and Cristine Gusi, joined in the said activity as a support team of HLAF as well as facilitators in the workshop about youth-at-risk.
In the workshop, Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) Case Manager, Ms. Laila Baharan, shared the barangay’s experience on how the BCPC helps the children-at-risk and children-in-conflict-with-the-law.
“Dapat magkaisa ang konseho at pamayanan para maprotektahan ang kabataan.” Ms. Baharan said during the workshop.
After the groups’ presentation on the workshop, HLAF interns provided an inspiring message for the participants.
“Sana imbis na husgahan natin ang mga batang nakakagawa ng kasalanan, sana tulungan natin silang magbago.” - John Lemuel Gardose
“Sana magising ang diwa natin para tumulong sa iba.” - Patrick Yeoj Peraz
“Bilang estudyante, naisip ko na mag-aral nang mabuti para making social worker ako… Yan ang tulong ko.” - Cristine Gusi