by: Ida Mandinyenya
Thursday, March 19, 2015 | Social Responsibility |
The world celebrated International Women’s Day last March 8. This commends the achievements of all women while advocating for better equality across the diverse spheres of society.
In history, the earliest International Women’s Day was observed in the United States in 1909 in remembrance of the 1908 garment workers strike in New York where women protested against poor working conditions. The day was officially recorded on the United Nations International Days of Observances in 1987.
Twenty-eight years later, we at MicroSourcing unite with humanity and support the active participation of women in society while building support for their justice and dignity. This year, MicroSourcing volunteers remembered women in our society who are confronted with the unsympathetic reality of incarceration at the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City. MicroMissions partnered with Caritas Manila, a church-led, non-profit organization that runs a Restorative Justice Ministry in 12 prisons, jails, and youth rehabilitation centers namely, New Bilibid Prisons, Correctional Institution for Women, Manila City Jail (Male Dept., Female Dept., and Annex), Mandaluyong City Jail, Pasay City Jail, San Juan City Jail, Cradle, Manila Youth Reception Center, and Pasay Youth Center.
The Restorative Justice Ministry offers a range of services including paralegal assistance, religious and guidance counseling services, livelihood assistance, education and vocational skills training, advocacy and lobbying, services for social action, and medical and dental services to inmates and their families.
Last March 16, MicroSourcing volunteers Julie Villena, Idaishe Mandinyenya, and Jan Dimaranan, together with representatives from Caritas Manila, SR. Norma C. Gonzales, SHE., and Raquel Banda, visited the Correctional Institution for Women, a prison for adult female offenders who have been sentenced and are serving their decrees in imprisonment. The volunteers had a one-hour workshop on Building Confidence that left a handful of the attendees in tears. We discussed banishing the monkey and doing away with negative self-talk for confidence boosting. The women expressed that they yearned for their loved ones to remember them for the good that they had done in their lives as opposed to the bad. Many alluded that accepting past mistakes was a way of regaining confidence and dealing with their day-to-day lives in confinement.
After the workshop, volunteers got the opportunity to visit the prison’s livelihood program where women inmates are trained indispensible skills - from weaving to tailoring. Volunteers purchased a range of beautiful handmade products that will be sold in four MicroSourcing sites: Picadilly, MOA, Eastwood, and Ortigas; and all proceeds will go to Caritas Manila to further support their remarkable work in the Correctional Institution for Women.
Volunteers concur that it was moving experience for everyone and meeting women who were confined to the four walls of their compound and yet spoke so positively about their trying experience in prison was inspiring.
MicroMissions extends a special thank you to Pearl Martinez from Human Resources department for providing the Building Confidence workshop material as well as the volunteers for their continued support.
“We have to think about the future, our future after we leave even though we are inside!”