Striving for a Better World

One of Lilok’s strategic thrusts is to engage our community in national issues. Jeff and I want to share about what Lilok has been doing to engage the youth in national advocacy.

Marching for Climate Justice

Global Climate Strike
September 20, 2019 University of the Philippines
College of Science Ampitheater
600+ total attendees
14 Lilok participants  
Individuals from various environmental organizations form a Human Earth at the UP Diliman in Quezon City on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, to mark the week-long Global Climate Strike. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

 On a drizzling afternoon, grey clouds followed a large, noisy group. Most were students and youth from different schools, organizations and communities marching through the tree-lined roads. Wherever one looked, they could see colorful banners with messages like “Keep it in the ground” and “Our future is non-negotiable”. Young, loud voices echo through the university campus, full of hope and courage, shouting the thundering chant, “What do we want? Climate Justice! When do we want it? Now!”

Behind a cream-colored concrete building lay a grassy field with a stage on the far end. The group settled in the open grounds, each given a square piece of chipboard. Assembled and listening to the person in stage, they flipped the boards to reveal a human earth formation, 600-strong, with a banner below that says “There is no planet B”.

Human Earth Formation (Front)

This is a scene from one of the global climate strikes in Manila that Lilok chose to join. The Global Climate Strike is a peaceful, week-long protest to call out companies and nations to stop relying on coal and fossil fuel energy. It was inspired by Greta Thunberg, the young activist who sat outside of the Swedish Parliament on August 2018 to demand climate justice. Climate Justice is a call for nations and companies to be held accountable for their carbon dioxide emissions and pay the climate vulnerable countries to the damages caused by the impacts of climate change. Burning coal and using fossil fuel energy to power our households and industries are harmful, producing too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and causing global warming and climate change. Climate change is the problem that threatens the existence of the next generation. volunteers direct the protestors from a stage.

A total of 14 Lilok staff, CYW current participants, and alumni joined in this protest. Lilok was moved by the overwhelming issue of climate change, as the Philippines is listed as one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects and impacts of climate change. By the invitation of 350 Philippines, Lilok joined the call to join the Global Climate Strikes. Believing in wholistic faith, Lilok believes that as followers of Christ we must take action regarding this issue, which threatens not only us humans but the whole creation that God made. We must take a stand as stewards of God’s beautiful creation.

Lilok people take a photo with a protestor in a Pikachu costume.

With all the strikes happened all over the world, the companies and nations heard the voice of young people clamoring to stop destroying their future. Lilok prays that these global climate strikes are only the beginning of a persistent call of the youth to save not only their future, but also God’s beautiful creation.

Combating Online Sexual Exploitation    

E-OSEC Mainstreaming Camp
October 22-24, 2019
Christian Development Center, Tagaytay City
141 youth and adults
26 participants from Lilok partner communities  
Participants listen to a lecture on Online Sexual Exploitation of Children.
Photo by Jasmin Legnes

“I did it to protect my family,” explained the voice of a young boy, coming from the speakers of the conference room. The 141 participants of the Youth Camp on Safety of Children Online watched in silence as the video told the story of a boy who chatted with an online predator to keep his younger sister from being victimized.

The children in the video were rescued in the end, but not all such stories end as hopefully.  The UNICEF calls the Philippines the “global epicentre of the live-stream sexual abuse trade”.[1] The increased access to the internet and to cheap telecommunication devices, coupled with poverty and a lack of consciousness about the effects of child pornography and cybersex have on the victims, has made many urban poor children vulnerable to online sexual exploitation.

In response to this, Mission Alliance (MA) and Philippine Children’s Ministries Network (PCMN) reached out to Lilok to organize a 3-day youth camp that would make the Elimination of Online Sexual of Children (E-OSEC) a mainstream advocacy for Mission Alliance’s network partners. The participants came from all over the Philippines, even from provinces as far as Zamboanga and Samar.

Participants plan out their OSEC advocacy.
Photo by Jasmin Legnes

We were tasked with helping the participants develop their own E-OSEC modules based off PCMN’s Online Safety curriculum. PCMN took charge of the first day and demonstrated their curriculum for the participants, while Lilok shared a shortened version of our Facilitation Skills training module on the second day. After a few hours of preparation, the participants split into five groups according to partner organization and demonstrated their customized E-OSEC modules for a feedbacking session with their peers.

This 3-day camp was a positive experience, where each of the organizations came out with their own plans for facilitating E-OSEC advocacies in their communities. Participants appreciated the interactive training style and were moved by the urgent need to mobilize against online sexual exploitation of children. It is our hope that these advocacies will help curb the alarming reality of OSEC in poor communities, so that children will be able to grow in safe, loving conditions.

Prayer Requests

In September, Lilok celebrated its 25th anniversary with a forum entitled Looking Back, Forging Ahead with Jesus. Over 70 people from the Lilok community over 25 years shared their thoughts about how well Lilok has kept to its original vision and what direction it should head towards.

Ate Carol officially finished her Lilok service at the end of September. Con is preparing to take up the Executive Director position in her place. To help train him and mentor the rest of the staff, Kuya Arcy is the current Officer-in-Charge at Lilok. Please pray for Ate Carol as she prepares for her missionary journey in Cambodia next year, and Lilok as we go through this transition.

The members of LikHabi are wrapping up a small research project where they held focus group discussions (FGD) with youth from 5 different urban poor churches that had been venues for LikHabi’s Suicide Awareness Workshops. The goal of the research is to determine LikHabi’s next advocacy. From the follow-up validation FGD with Lilok alumni, it appears that the youth need the churches to be safer spaces for them to share about their burdens. Please pray as LikHabi formulates its next advocacy.

Con and Jeff are currently experiencing housing crises. A businessman bought the land that Con’s family lives in, and they have been given months to vacate the land. Please pray that either the demolition does not go through or that Con’s family will find a new place to live in. As for Jeff, the mayor of Manila has been initiating road clearing projects, and a section of his home including the walls of their comfort room has been demolished as a result. Please pray for resources as Jeff plans to renovate their house.

 Journeying with you in the service of the poor,

Adam Gorospe & Jeffrey Reyes
CYW Program Coordinators