One of the best leader that influenced my life so much was a man named Gordon Bitner Hinckley. He said in several occasions that "the strength of a nation lies within the walls of its homes." I believe that with all my heart.
As we contemplate the PEBA theme for this season, I presented three different topics to 10 of the members of PEBA. I asked them to reply to me privately or in a thread. 7 out of 10 chose this theme.
" Strengthening the OFW Families: Stronger Homes for a Stronger Nation"
The theme construction was suggested by a woman-blogger who actively supports KABLOGS and PEBA as a volunteer.
Someone in the group warned us of the sensitivity of the topic. But we have to make a stand. We can't wait and watch at the sidelines while we know as OFW's, and we read as bloggers the terrible typhoon that is hitting the lives of fathers, mothers, and childrens related to OFW's. I am literally in tears for months of research about OFW families. I can linked you to hundreds or more post, news, forum topic and discussions about the broken marriages and destroyed families but so little, if there's any, solutions posed. The government who hailed the OFW as heroes for saving the economy doesn't even have a concrete program.
So today, we at PEBA is asking our representatives and senators and the new government to present a solid and lasting programs to save OFW marriages, to save the Filipino children's future. Some say this is a private and personal moral choices to make, yes, but it has also a national consequences. If this wont stop, the rising generations will be a product of broken families that are either addicted to alcohol or drugs, or do not want to go to school, or become a menace in the society. The rippling effect is unthinkable, the future is then bleak and could be a dismal failure. It all starts at the family. That's why if we have to strengthen a nation, we should begin from our home.
PEBA President NJ Abad of the Desert Aquaforce states if eloquently when he says in his formal opening entry of the 2010 season at the PEBA website
"PEBA’s 2010 Theme: An Out of the Ordinary Call
PEBA has witnessed the real life suffering and loneliness of the OFWs and their families and believes that strengthening the OFW families, strengthens the homes and the nation! Thus, this season’s theme of “Strengthening the OFW Families: Stronger Homes for a Stronger Nation” does not just momentarily fit the issue of hour but is a timeless subject that cannot be bound by shackles so long as there are OFWs out there.
Scores of blogs and articles have been written about the subject in the past but it seems that the government authorities remain clueless of solutions and action plans to abate the increasing number of broken families.
We cannot wait and just rely on our government to come to rescue of the OFWs families in crisis. As Pinoy Expats and OFW bloggers, we have the moral obligation to help and encourage one another in our own little ways. What we blog and write about may encourage a fellow OFW or a fellow blogger to save his marriage from falling apart… it may help one to keep the family intact.
What can we do as bloggers? The PEBA 2010 Season opens with not just the OFWs and Pinoy expatriates writing about the OFW families but will be joining forces with local bloggers who, in one way or the other, have been influenced by OFWs in their lifetime. The support of the local bloggers who are sympathetic to the OFWs cause will have that exponential effect of reaching and educating up to the grassroots level.
PEBA calls on the bloggers to write and post about topics on strengthening the OFW families, and their being miles away from each other. Topics may include family communication, family gatherings, parent-child coaching and counseling, assistance and support in children’s homework and projects, conference meetings with family members, online contact with families, pointers on cheap communication, etc. PEBA calls on the bloggers to write about what they are doing to strengthen their families despite the distance and their absence from home. PEBA calls on the bloggers to share insights, ideas, pointers and how to express love for their spouses and children.
PEBA will not just be an organization that will give annual awards for exemplary blogs but it will proactively act on issues that will make difference in people's lives, especially the young children, and the OFW's and their families."
"PEBA’s Call to our New Government Leaders and Private Sectors"
"OFWs are happy on the government’s appreciation of the billions of dollars that are remitted into the Philippine economy. Such acknowledgment must be placed in more concrete terms by giving more benefits and perks for the OFWs. Furthermore, PEBA calls on the new leaders to take a reality check on the OFWs and their families. PEBA calls on the government to take care and support the OFWs and their families by putting leaders – secretaries, labor attaches, consuls, and embassy officials who understand and are sympathetic to the plight of the migrant workers. Appoint new leaders who are mindful of the struggles and harsh realities in the life of OFWs and their families - leaders who have vision for the OFWs and their families.
To the private sectors that have benefitted from the sweat and blood of the OFWs remittances, PEBA calls on you to create and promote advocacy programs and projects and to fund social activities and values education workshops that will help strengthen the OFWs families."
We encouraged all our blogger friends and supporters to join in this season, and our previous winners to post about the topic in their respective homes/blogs. Together, let us create a collective voice that may the leaders of our lands will hear or read. Together let us make a difference to someone's lives that may save a marriage, a family, and the children's future.