FAMILY BRIDGING ACROSS MILES.
“Our mission of education makes us recognize the pressing need to continue to accompany families and to go towards young people living in vulnerable situations.”General Chapter 2018
“We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved. They are an occasion that Providence gives us to help build a more just society, a more perfect democracy, a more united country, a more fraternal world and a more open and evangelical Christian community.” –Pope Francis
(Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2014)
The Assumption Iloilo Community, composed of compassionate and person-oriented counselors, facilitators and Administration took the responsibility of creating a special program for learners with absent/parent family set-up in order to address the needs of our young people in school who are in vulnerable situations, separated from their families.
Our Guidance Office conducted a survey in order to identify the needs and concerns of the sons and daughters of OFW.
The results of the demographic survey of our learners from K-Gr. 12 of 1,427 enrollment for SY 2019-2020 enabled the school to prepared programs to address their special needs.
Assumption Iloilo is also connected with the Commission of Migrants and Itinerant people of the Archdiocese of Jaro, Iloilo City spearheaded by Rev.Fr. Arvin Largado. Working closely with the Commission enabled our school community to invite resource speakers like Mr. JoefelResol, whose mission is to assist schools in the formation of learners, children of OFWs.
Mr. Joefel Resol, Regional Coordinator of Atikha Overseas Workers and Community Initiatives talks about the effects of migration and strengthening parent-child relationship despite distance and separation to Assumption Iloilo High School learners who are sons and daughters of OFWs.
The School also organized a Day of Formation of our learners - Sons and Daughters of OFW DAY CAMP, with a theme: “SDO: Committed as a CommunityEmbracing Our Reality”.
This Day Camp enabled the learners to embrace their reality as Sons and Daughters of OFW, strengthen their commitment to support and understand the work and sacrifice of their parents, and create a community of SDOs committed to help each other thrive in their roles in the family, school, and society.
The Special Program for Sons and Daughters of OFW is called #FamBAM: Family Bridging Across Miles.One of the outputs of this program was the sharing of the experience of our student, a daughter of an OFW.
“MILES AWAY FOR LOVE”
“I am Marielle Shree Yu, a Grade Eleven learner at Assumption Iloilo. I was in Fifth Grade when my Mom left the Philippines to work as an Air Traffic Controller in Qatar. At first, everything felt normal and nothing seemed out of the ordinary, as I was already used to missing her due to her working late-night shifts every day in her previous job. But as days turned into weeks, and months, the absence of my mother was greatly felt by my family, and I took it the hardest. My grades started to drop as my performance in school was affected by my separation from her. I found it hard to talk to friends about it. Everything felt like it was falling apart. My mom was the greatest support system in my family.
I also had days when I questioned, “Why did my Mom leave me behind? Was it something I did? Am I not a good enough reason for her to stay?” Nevertheless, I had to be strong, not only for myself but also to comfort my mother who I know was having a hard time, seeing that she was alone in an unfamiliar country. Sadly, it was not even easy pretending to be strong whenever she called me through Facetime, nor could I show these emotions to my fellow family members as I did not want to trouble them. I thought I had to deal with this alone, but I was wrong. Instead, I found comfort in my second family, none other than the Assumption Community.
I realized that I was not alone in this struggle. Several of my classmates are like me, who struggle to hide their longing for their parents. The High School department facilitated a program for the Sons and Daughters of OFWs called #FamBAM: Family Bridging Across Miles.
Through activities and programs, Assumption made us feel and know that they are with us, that they understand us, and that we can count on them. Our Guidance counsellors and teachers made us realize that our parents did not choose to be away from us but they chose to work abroad for us, out of love. The program sparked a lot of reflections, realizations, and it made me see things in a different light.
I gained new friends whom I know I can talk to about anything and everything, but I also had a deeper understanding of my mother’s love for me, and that she will do just about anything to make me happy. As our Foundress, St. Marie Eugenie said, “Love never says I have done enough.” This is my answer to the question why my Mom opted to work abroad. It was so simple, yet it took me a long time to process. She did it out of love. With this in mind, I was able to cope with separation from the woman I call my best friend. I felt more at ease knowing that there is a whole community that loves me just as much as my Mom does. This is what the Assumption is. It is not only an institution for learning but, it is a community as well. A community very capable of understanding and loving each and every single one of us, regardless of what we might be going through. To put it simply, Assumption Iloilo is my second home and I could not be more thankful to be a part of such a community.”
Sr. Aremar Grantos