Sister Añanita Borbon, a member of the Religious of Good Shepherd, shared her congregation’s mission in the peripheries at the Second National Mission Congress, Cebu, Central Philippines, April 17-24, 2022.
As Good Shepherd Sisters, they are committed to announcing a message of reconciliation through a ministry of charity and evangelization directed towards persons wounded by sin and its consequences.
“Our priority issues include human trafficking, prostitution, migration, integral ecology, economic justice, and girl-child,” Sister Añanita said.
She focused on two interconnected issues—human trafficking and prostitution of girls and women.
There is a continuous cycle in these issues. Those who offer jobs (sexual entrepreneurs), bodies of women and children are being supplied, high demand for buyers of adult/child sex, many states and countries legalized state sex economy, she explained.
To combat these, the cycle has to be addressed by promoting gender quality, stopping the demand, supporting women’s human rights, and eradicating poverty.
The 4P’s guided their organization as they advocate for the stop of prostitution and human trafficking namely—Prosecution, Protection, Prevention, and Partnership.
She also mentioned their congregation’s position on prostitution such as seeing it as a chronic form of gender violence that has been structurally embedded in societies over the centuries.
“It is incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and endangers the welfare of the individual, the family, and the community,” she said.
She showed a documentary video on the issues of human trafficking and prostitution and how Religious of Good Shepherd nuns are responding to these issues through community centers offering programs for women including St. Bridget Community Center in Batangas province and their Welcome House in Cebu, central Philippines.
She shared that their programs and services in the Philippines are classified as prevention, protection and healing, linkages, and networking.
“We are using a framework of intervention—caring, healing, teaching, and aftercare,” the nun said.
They maximize their different networks at the international, national, regional, and province-level and extend their connection outside the congregation to civil organizations, other faith-based organizations, and government organizations as well.
Sister Añanita also shared some challenges they face in their ministry which include—organized crime-requires organized and systemic response, the tedious healing process, slow court process and low conviction, re-trafficking/relapse if family/community is not supportive, and lack of funds. - Jennibeth Sabay
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