By DAWN CECILIA PEÑA
MANILA — Students from St. Scholastica’s College, Manila (SSC) celebrated participated in the global campaign One Billion Rising to call for an to end violence against women and children.
The program was graced by Monique Wilson, global director of One Billion Rising and Mae Paner, actress and activist.
With the theme “Raise the vibration, rise for revolution”, the 2020 campaign aims to unite everyone to rise to free women from sexual, physical, political, economic, sociocultural, racial, ideological, and climate crisis violence.
Sr. M. Christine Pinto, SSC President, highlighted that schools for women and girls like SSC may not be able to beat authoritarians in their game of dominance, power, and greed, but they can start and set different rules in the game of life and survival.
“This is the legacy we received from St. Benedict and St. Scholastica and this is our contribution to rising, resisting gender-based violence and establishing solidarity with women and girls breaking the chain of inequality, discrimination, and oppression.”
She also encouraged students to practice the Benedictine value of Ora et Labora or prayer and work, by going deep and not to stay in shallow mediocrity of self-centered lives.
“Ora et Labora challenges us to listen and listen well with the ear of our hearts. We cannot become numb and indifferent to what is going on around us. Ora et Labora also pushes us to engage, take action, get out of our comfort zones and be in solidarity with movements that uphold human rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, and rights of those with diverse orientation.”
The students, led by the student councils, also pledged to rise against disrespect and violation of human rights to celebrate the 2020 One Billion Rising campaign.
“We rise against discrimination of persons because of their socioeconomic and political background. We rise against the misogyny and sexism that puts down women and girls. We resist the consumerist enticements of easy fixes, instant gratification and superficiality. We resist that the poor deserves only the left-overs and extras of others.”
SSC Manila has been participating in the One Billion Rising campaign since 2013. This has since integrated to its school curriculum. The dance is being taught during Physical Education classes, while social issues are being tackled in the Social Studies classes from grade school to college.