#DearSurvivor 2023 and our Practice of Radical Love and Care to End GBV

The 18-Day campaign to End Violence Against Women is a vital period of activism for gender justice, and we at Lunas Collective are sharing the heartfelt highlights of our work promoting radical love and care for all.

Photo Credit: Tiara Imperial

Our work in the 18 days of activism demonstrates our commitment to establishing safe spaces and making an inclusive world free from gender based violence and discrimination a reality. where each and everyBODY can celebrate and express their diverse pleasures!

Our involvement commenced on November 24, as we participated in the #Safecity Caravan to End VAW led by Bayi Inc. and Safecity. As a partner organization, Lunas Collective joined the call for the urgent need for safe spaces for all. Our Helpline Manager, Joey Bernabe, co-hosted this event while our Director of Communications, Ria Landingin, joined the solidarity ride from the Quezon City Memorial Circle to the Commission on Human Rights.

 

Photo Credit: Michael Varcas, Philippine Star

The event drew the presence of influential figures such as Senator Risa Hontiveros, Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Atty. Richard Palpal-latoc, UN Women Philippines Country Programme Coordinator Rosalyn Mesina, along with numerous organizations, advocates, bikers, VESPA riders, and government champions.

Photo Credit: Office of Senator Risa Hontiveros

Following this impactful event, Lunas Collective was honored to attend the reception hosted by the British Embassy on November 30, 2023, commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence.

Photo Credit: British Embassy Manila

This gathering served as a platform for reflection, uniting guests from various women's rights organizations, activists, private sector, and government officials to collectively ponder on our progress and the continued journey towards a safer and fairer nation.

Photo Credit: British Embassy Manila

We also participated in UP-CIFAL's forum and fair titled "Leading Safe Spaces: The Role of Good Governance in Ending Violence Against Women." Here, the discourse revolved around the current status of GBV in the Philippines, existing laws, policies, and the crucial role of good governance in eradicating gender-based violence.

Our Founder, Sabrina Gacad, contributed significantly to the panel discussions, emphasizing the importance of care work, collective action, and the challenges faced by non-profits and civil society organizations in community building and organizing efforts.

Photo Credit: UP-CIFAL

The pinnacle of our campaign was our annual flagship event, Dear Survivor, with the theme, "Canvas of Courage: Ang Love and Care, Dasurv!" This poignant gathering brought together people with lived experiences of gender based violence, storytellers, and allies to find safety and care through our community. The event is solidarity in action, supporting participants in making meaningful connections through private sharing circles facilitated by our dedicated volunteers and through a healing-with-art workshop guided by Teacher Liz Rañola. Here, survivors and allies coalesced in a safe space, nurturing one another's vulnerabilities and finding a semblance of healing through art.

Photo Credit: Tiara Imperial

Watch the highlights from this event here: #DearSurvivor 2023

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Rappler and Pia Ranada for featuring our Founder and the Collective on the "Be the Good" series' second episode. This platform provided us with an invaluable space to amplify our work and encourage people to get involved in providing survivors a safe platform to share their stories and reclaim their power towards healing, safety, and justice.

Screengrab from: Rappler

As we reflect on these impactful moments, we see a vibrant tapestry painted by our community of care—a tapestry woven with courage, care, and unwavering commitment. Together, we continue our journey towards a world where safety, pleasure, and equity prevail for all.


Lunas Collective stands in solidarity with the peoples of Myanmar and their liberation

29 November 2023

Lunas Collective stands in solidarity with the peoples of Myanmar and their liberation. We join the 16 days of activism against gender based violence and stand for the right of all peoples to live with dignity, and live free of and safe from violence. This includes the right to one’s sexuality, reproductive freedom, irrespective of age, abilities, socio-economic status, gender identity or sexual orientation, political or spiritual affiliations, and convictions. 

As advocates of reproductive freedom and justice, we recognize that sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights are often taken from structurally disenfranchised people–this includes the women, men, children, and genderqueer individuals of Myanmar. 

We take a stand against the harms of capitalism, colonialism, and racism. We stand for reproductive freedom and justice, and join global calls for  equitable access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights for all. In this regard, we condemn the Myanmar military’s seizure of all legislative, executive, and judicial powers in the country. We also strongly denounce the Myanmar military’s violent crackdown on dissent and democratic processes, bolstered by the funding of global political powers.

Since the Myanmar military seized control of the country through a coup in 2021, more than 25,400 human rights defenders and civilians have been arrested, more than 19,700 have been detained, more than 4,200 have been murdered, and more than 2 million have been forcibly displaced from their homes. 

Documented cases of sexual and gender based violence against women, men, girls, and boys, at the hands of the Myanmar military, continue to increase. The routine and systematic use of rape and sexual violence as weapon by the military have been also documented by the United Nations. Security Force Monitor’s study “Under Whose Command?” uncovered that more than 60% of all senior army commanders had alleged disappearances, killings, rape, or instances of torture committed by units under their command since 2011. Moreover, more than 50% of the commanders were promoted in rank after at least one alleged disappearance, killing, rape or instance of torture was committed by the units under their command. The Women’s League of Burma reported that fear of further harassment deterred many from reporting sexual violence.

Most recently, the Myanmar military bombed Mung Lai Hkyet, a camp for conflict-displaced people in northern Myanmar’s Kachin State. 28 civilians including 12 children were killed and dozens of shelters were destroyed. 

The coup is an escalation of the Myanmar military’s decades-long abuse against ethnic minorities in the country. Since the 1960s, the Myanmar military’s use of its “four cuts” strategy has been documented–cutting off the access to food, funds, intelligence, and recruits of whom it considers an opponent, harming civilians in the process.

Lunas Collective joins hundreds of civil society and social justice organizations and groups in the call for an end to the atrocities perpetrated by the Myanmar military.

We amplify the call for immediate global action to end military rule issued by women’s rights groups in Myanmar and in Asia, which specifies the following demands:

  1. To institute a comprehensive global arms embargo on Myanmar, to end the direct and indirect supply sale or transfer of all weapons and other military equipment used for training, intelligence and military assistance; 
  2. To institute a jet fuel embargo and end to military air strikes against civilians;
  3. To increase humanitarian assistance to Myanmar and migrants and refugees from Myanmar, including cross border aid;
  4. To immediately dispatch a well-equipped monitoring and intervention mission to Myanmar to end the state sponsored human rights violations being perpetrated against civilians exercising their rights to peaceful assembly.
  5. To refer military coup council members and personnel to the ICC for their mass atrocities against peaceful protesters; ethnic Kachin, Karen, Shan, Rohingya, Rakhine; and, other civilians.

We believe in the feminist principle that our oppressions and freedoms are interconnected. To borrow the words of intersectional feminist Audre Lorde, none of us are free until all of us are free, even when our shackles are different from each other’s.

 

Sources:


Lunas Collective stands in solidarity with Palestinians and peoples across the world for a Free Palestine

 

28 November 2023

Lunas Collective stands in solidarity with Palestinians and peoples across the world for a free Palestine. We stand for the right of all peoples to live with dignity, and live free of and safe from violence. This includes the right to one’s sexuality and reproductive freedom, irrespective of age, abilities, socio-economic status, gender identity or sexual orientation, political or spiritual affiliations, and convictions.

As advocates of reproductive freedom and justice, we recognize that sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights are often taken from structurally disenfranchised people–this includes Palestinian women, men, children, and genderqueer individuals.

We assert that reproductive freedom and justice stand in contrast to capitalism, colonialism, and racism. It promotes equitable access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights for all. In this regard, we condemn all violence against Palestinian and Israeli civilians. We also strongly denounce the Israeli government’s ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people, bolstered by the funding of Western governments.

Since October 7, 2023, Israel's airstrikes in Gaza have caused major casualties: over 14,800 deaths, including at least 6,150 children, and 36,000 injuries, with 8,600 children affected. More than 270 attacks on healthcare facilities have been documented, including the most recent raid on al-Shifa hospital. 

The ongoing siege has led to a sexual and reproductive healthcare crisis, affecting 50,000 pregnant individuals, with doctors performing Cesarean sections without anesthetics. This has also rendered hygiene products and contraceptives inaccessible to those who need it, and has made medical care unavailable to those with infections related to contraceptive devices.

This siege is an escalation of Israel's 75-year illegal occupation and apartheid regime in Palestinian territories. Gaza has endured a 16-year blockade, resulting in multiple military assaults, disproportionately affecting Palestinian women. The continued oppression calls for an end to Israel's siege, occupation, and apartheid regime. Dr. Sara Roy emphasizes that Gaza needs not just aid but also freedom to interact normally with the world to achieve sustainable peace.

Lunas Collective joins thousands of civil society and social justice non-governmental and nonprofit organizations and groups in the call for a full and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

We amplify the call for action issued by Palestinians from Gaza and in exile which specifies the following demands:

  1. An immediate ceasefire to allow for dignified burials for the deceased in overflowing morgues and under rubble, and to prevent disease outbreaks.
  2. The urgent restoration of water, food, fuel, medical supplies, and humanitarian aid.
  3. Immediate protection of medical facilities and the reversal of the illegal and inhumane evacuation orders for hospitals.
  4. The facilitation of safe passage for casualties and critically ill individuals in need of medical treatment.
  5. Opening the crossings for those seeking to evacuate and permitting the entry of medical and rescue teams, along with their equipment.

We believe in the feminist principle that our oppressions and freedoms are interconnected. To borrow the words of intersectional feminist Audre Lorde, who advocated for the recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people in her lifetime, none of us are free until all of us are free, even when our shackles are different from each other’s.

 

 

Sources:


PRIDE 2023: Making Meaningful Connections and Celebrating Diversity

We proudly commemorated PRIDE 2023 through a series of inclusive events, which not only celebrated the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies, but also facilitated meaningful conversations, promoted self-expression, and emphasized the importance of collective care.

June 17: Connecting Feminist Care and SOGIESC Equality Advocacy

On June 17, we collaborated with the Philippine Anti-Discrimination Alliance of Youth Leaders (PANTAY) in a learning exchange: a safe and welcoming space for org members and volunteers, which aimed to connect people through shared experiences of exclusion, marginalization, and discrimination.

Vince Liban, National Convener of PANTAY, delivered an enlightening talk on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) while Lunas Collective's Director of Services, Lyka Lucena, facilitated a Feminist Care workshop, addressing diverse needs for care.

This event set the tone for the month, highlighting the power of collective action and the significance of sharing care within the community.

June 24: Embracing Pleasure and Power at LOVELABAN sa QC Pride PH Festival

Continuing the momentum, our volunteers participated in LOVELABAN sa QC Pride PH Festival on June 24. 

"When we say PLEASURE, you say POWER,” the collective chanted, emphasizing the need for truly inclusive communities that respect diverse definitions of safety, healing, and justice.

This event served as a powerful reminder that diverse pleasures should be celebrated in a space free from judgment and discrimination.

We express our gratitude to UP Center for Women's and Gender Studies for sharing their booth with our volunteers. We also congratulate Pride PH and the Quezon City Government for organizing the inspiring #LoveLabanSaQC event.

July 1: Stories, Songs, and Dances to Cap Off Pride Month 2023
Closing off Pride Month on July 1, Lunas Collective and PANTAY, joined by a caring community of volunteers, storytellers, advocates, and allies, hosted a celebration filled with stories, songs, and dances.

This event reinforced the idea that Pride extends beyond festivities, promoting self-love, compassion for others, and empowerment for the entire community. Our organizations marched for those who can't, and shared the care with those who might need it – advocating for a world where love, sexuality, and expression are free from violence and discrimination.

This culminating event encapsulated the spirit of PRIDE, emphasizing the need for ongoing support and understanding.

We extend our sincere thanks to PANTAY for co-organizing these events, the storytellers who trusted the safe space, the Puresoul band and Mrs Tan for sharing their talents, and allies and partners from UP Center for Women's and Gender Studies, UP College of Social Work and Community Development, and EMpower - The Emerging Markets Foundation Ltd.


Feminist Counseling Boot Camp and Feminist Leadership Training Empowers Leaders and Counselors

We successfully completed our first-ever Feminist Counseling Boot Camp and Leadership Training Program, which took place from April to October 2022. This initiative brought together aspiring feminist peer counselors and leaders into a community dedicated to creating a more inclusive and caring world.

The program has drawn participants from diverse backgrounds, united by their commitment to promoting gender justice and using social media to support those affected by gender-based violence.

We are on a mission to empower those who wish to learn about providing care and leading with a feminist perspective.

Leadership training highlights importance of grassroots activism.
The Leadership Training, offered to youth leaders and gender justice advocates, is an inclusive opportunity that emphasizes the importance of feminist leadership, care, and grassroots activism. The program includes both synchronous and asynchronous learning, allowing participants to engage with a wide range of topics and practical skills.

Among the key areas of focus are:

  1. Gender, Sexuality, and Power Orientation
  2. Care Work as Work
  3. Ethical Use of Data
  4. Community of Care
  5. Self-Care Tools and Strategies for Service Users
  6. Self-Care for Feminist Leaders
  7. Advocacy and Orientation to Conducting the Lunas Collective Feminist Care Module

As a vital part of their training, participants shared their learnings by conducting at least two Lunas Collective Feminist Care (LCFC) learning sessions with partners and possible volunteers.

Online Boot Camp opens sessions for participants nationwide
The Feminist Counseling Boot Camp, meanwhile, welcomed women, people of diverse sexualities, and with diverse abilities, and even cisgender heterosexual men who advocate for gender justice. Since the sessions are held online, participants from across the Philippines, regardless of their ethnicities and regions, were able to join. This program was also open to those with experience in gender equality advocacy, formal education in counselling or related fields was not required.

The Boot Camp training covered a variety of topics, including:

  1. Gender, Sexuality, and Power Orientation
  2. Foundations of Feminist Counseling
  3. Impact of Gender-Based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health on Mental Health
  4. Identifying Signs and Symptoms of Disorders Related to GBV
  5. Building Therapeutic Alliances with Service Users
  6. Ethics and Clients' Rights
  7. Self-Care Tools and Strategies for Service Users
  8. Self-Care for Counselors
  9. Community Care and Advocacy

Both programs emphasize the importance of self-care and community care while providing a platform for advocacy. Participants in the Boot Camp have the unique opportunity to engage in supervised practice with Lunas Collective counselors, gaining real-world experience in feminist counseling.

In total, more than 30 participants successfully graduated from the program, equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a real difference in their communities. A select few have continued their journey by volunteering with Lunas Collective.

Program graduates attend #DearSurvivor 2022 

To celebrate the graduates’ achievements, the #DearSurvivor 2022 event was held at B Hotel in Quezon City on December 3, 2022. The event recognized the dedication and hard work of the participants and celebrated their commitment to making the world a more caring and just place.

Our Feminist Counseling Boot Camp and Feminist Leadership Training have not only enriched the lives of its participants but has also planted the seeds for a more compassionate and gender-just society. As we look forward to the future, we remain committed to empowering individuals to lead with care, empathy, and a feminist perspective.

This transformative program was made possible through the leadership of Lunas Collective’s Founder and Director, Sabrina Gacad, and Project Officer Janine Del Mundo. It was proudly supported by organizations such as the UP Center for Women’s Studies Foundation, Inc., the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) through the Women’s Rights, Action, and Advocacy Project (WRAAP).


Lunas Collective and Roots of Health Mount #DearSurvivor 2022: Communities of Care for GBV Survivors and Allies

In a historic first, the #DearSurvivor event took place simultaneously in Quezon City, Metro Manila and in Puerto Princesa, Palawan and online, on December 3, 2022, as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (GBV).

We organized this event in collaboration with Roots of Health, bringing together GBV survivors and their allies together in a hybrid format onsite and with a group virtually joining the event on Zoom, and emphasizing the power of community and healing.

Our volunteers, together with participants of the Feminist Boot Camp and Feminist Leadership training, facilitated private sharing circles – which created a safe space for survivors and allies to connect, share experiences, and strengthen bonds of solidarity.

A movement workshop, led by Philline, provided a creative and empowering outlet for expressing emotions and experiences.

“As a survivor myself, this was the space and collective that I’ve always wished for within the Philippines that I never thought would happen,” Philline said, emphasizing how important safe spaces like this are. “There is so much care that we can cultivate and nurture and also relearn through all kinds of acts, from art to movement to conversations,” she added.

#DearSurvivor 2022 was made even more significant by the presence and heartfelt messages of support from allies and partners.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to:

  • Roots of Health
  • Bayi, Inc.
  • CHR Gender Equality and Women's Human Rights Center
  • Youth Voices Count
  • IDEALS, Inc.
  • Sagip Babae Foundation
  • Asian Medical Students' Association-Philippines
  • MP Pictures for their exceptional video production

This event was supported by the UP Center for Women’s Studies Foundation, Inc., the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) through the Women’s Rights, Action, and Advocacy Project (WRAAP).

#DearSurvivor 2022 showcased the strength of solidarity, providing a platform for survivors to heal and share their stories. It demonstrated the power of collective action and the significance of creating safe spaces for survivors to come forward.

Watch the highlights from this event here: #DearSurvivor 2022

 


Lunas Collective Honored with Prestigious Gender Ombud Kakampi Award 2022 by the Commission on Human Rights

Lunas Collective has been recognized with the esteemed Gender Ombud Kakampi award by the Commission on Human Rights Gender Equality and Women's Human Rights Center.

The Gender Ombud Kakampi Award is a testament to our unwavering dedication to championing the rights of marginalized communities, particularly women and those belonging to the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. It is a celebration of our tireless efforts and substantial contributions in advancing gender equality and ensuring the protection of human rights.

The award ceremony took place during the Commission's "Gabi ng Parangal: Pakilala ng mga Kakampi at katuwang sa Gender Ombud Work," a momentous hybrid event dedicated to acknowledging partner organizations and allies in the noble pursuit of creating a more equitable world for women and individuals of diverse sexual orientations.

The "Gabi ng Parangal'' event was an inspiring gathering of like-minded organizations and individuals, all working harmoniously towards a common goal: the empowerment and upliftment of women and people of diverse sexualities. It was an evening of recognition and gratitude, where the Commission on Human Rights bestowed well-deserved honors upon several remarkable civil society organizations across various categories: International organizations, non-government and non-profits, academe, and government.

Alongside Lunas Collective, other distinguished awardees in the non-government organizations (National Level) category included Likhaan Center for Women's Health, Gantala Press, and Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB). These organizations share a common mission, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight for gender equity and human rights.

Like we said in our Facebook post: "Thank you, CHR Gender Equality and Women's Human Rights Center for this award! Lunas Collective is honored to be one of your Gender Ombud Kakampi's in advocating and promoting human rights and gender equality. #NanditoAngLunas, kasama n'yong tumitindig in providing safe care spaces for each and everybody.”

Our commitment to creating safe and inclusive spaces for everyone, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, exemplifies the values of the Gender Ombud Kakampi award. We consistently strive to challenge societal norms and dismantle barriers, working towards a world where every individual can thrive and fulfill their potential without fear of discrimination.

The Gender Ombud Kakampi award is not just a recognition of past accomplishments; it is a call to continue the inspiring work that we and our fellow awardees are doing. Together, we are leading the way in creating a more equitable and inclusive society where everyone can enjoy their human rights to the fullest.


Lunas Collective Spotlighted in New Book on Filipino Women's Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights

Great news! We are featured prominently in the book, "Resisting Marginality: Filipino Women's Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights," edited by Dr. Nathalie Africa-Verceles and published by the University of the Philippines Center for Women's and Gender Studies (UPCWGS) and Oxfam Pilipinas.

“The Making of Lunas Collective: Building Communities of Care” is one of three studies in the book, emphasizing the pivotal role of women's SRHR in policy and action during the pandemic and lockdowns.

The book, available for download here, includes studies by Amanda Lee Centeno, Joshua Carlo Pile, Alyanna Yzabelle Tamayo, Diana Kathrina Fontamillas, and a detailed account of Lunas Collective's origins by our Founder, Sabrina Gacad.

The policy brief is available for download here.

These resources represent young feminists' valuable insights and contributions to ongoing discussions on women's sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).


Share the Care Campaign: Advocating for Safe Spaces and Empowerment

In an effort to address challenges faced in public spaces, we at Lunas Collective launched the “Share the Care” campaign aimed at promoting safe environments, combating street harassment, and fostering solidarity among diverse communities.

This support and empowerment campaign was launched in collaboration with esteemed partners like the Commission on Human Rights - Gender Equality and Women's Human Rights Center, Lakbike, and the Pinay Bike Commuter Community.

The campaign, which was held from October to December 2021, kicked off with a learning session to discuss street safety measures, harassment reporting mechanisms, and the pivotal role of bystanders. This virtual session held on October 14 laid the groundwork for the campaign's ethos of equipping individuals with the knowledge and tools to navigate potential dangers on the streets. (Watch the October 14 Learning Session here)

One of our campaign's pivotal moments was the launch of the Bawal Bastos Reporting platform by the Commission on Human Rights on October 25. This platform, dedicated to reporting Safe Spaces Act violations, stood as a significant milestone in creating avenues for individuals to voice their experiences and seek recourse against harassment and discrimination.
(Watch CHR’s October 25 Bawal Bastos Reporting Platform Launch here)

 


We further bolstered our advocacy through the introduction of the Share the Care merch kit. This thoughtful collection, which included things like the "Bawal Bastos" drifit shirt, the Pinay Bike Commuter "Kababikeihan" face mask, and stickers from LakBike and CHR, served as tangible symbols of solidarity and support for the cause.

Central to the campaign was the 18km for Safe Spaces call to action, an initiative that echoed the collective commitment to acknowledging and addressing gender-based violence, discrimination, and abuse. Through this, we emphasized the importance of fostering spaces imbued with care and compassion, providing vital support for survivors on their journey toward healing, justice, and empowerment.

Aligned with the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women, we also organized #DearSurvivor 2021, a poignant online discussion held on December 6. This event provided a platform for survivors, allies, and supporters to share experiences of gender-based violence in both physical and digital realms. Esteemed guests and partners joined in, enriching the dialogue and emphasizing the shared responsibility in creating safe and inclusive environments.
(Watch #DearSurvivor 2021: A Discussion on GBV in Public and Online Spaces here)

The campaign underscored the diverse experiences individuals face regarding gender-based violence, harassment, and discrimination. However, it also highlighted the power of collective action and solidarity. We, along with our partners and allies, reaffirmed our commitment to advocating for safe spaces and #SharingTheCare, both on the streets and online. 

As the campaign drew to a close, we expressed gratitude to all participants, recognizing their invaluable contributions in driving meaningful change. The call for equality and safe spaces for everyone echoes beyond the campaign's duration, standing as a testament to our enduring commitment.

Catch highlights of the Share the Care campaign here: Share the Care Campaign 2021


Empowering Voices, Uniting Allies: Reflecting on our #DearSurvivor 2020 Event

Our journey as Lunas Collective took a significant stride in creating awareness and fostering positive change during the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

On December 5, 2020, we orchestrated our inaugural #DearSurvivor even – a virtual space where survivors and allies converged to delve into the impact of gender-based violence, discrimination, and the critical need for survivor-centered responses.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which happened from November 25 to December 10, mobilized global communities to combat one of humanity's pressing issues: violence against women.

On our founding year, we seized the opportunity to provide a platform for survivors to share their experiences while allies extended their unwavering support.

Our event showcased an exceptional lineup of speakers and contributors. The courageous Rosem Morton shared her own journey, inspiring attendees to embrace their narratives and commence the healing process. Sabrina Gacad, our Founder and a Professor of Women and Development Studies at UP Diliman, steered conversations on privilege, intersectionality, and crafting empathetic responses to gender-based violence.

Sabrina led participants through a transformative breathing and connecting ritual, shifting from emotional discussions to a space of unity and empowerment. This unique approach fostered a sense of togetherness, reassuring participants that their struggles are not solitary, reinforcing their pursuit of justice.

In addition to our esteemed speakers, a dedicated panel contributed significantly to the event's success. Shebana Alqaseer, co-founder of the Young Feminists Collective, emphasized gender and human rights. Danna Aduna, a volunteer manager of Lunas Collective since its inception in March 2020, offered valuable insights. Ellie De Castro, a National Geographic Explorer and archaeologist, discussed safer research spaces, while Viola Torres, handling gender-sensitive psychosocial assistance at the UP Center for Women's and Gender Studies, contributed her expertise.

The collaborative support of esteemed partners such as Australia Global Alumni, FamiLigtas, UP Center for Women's and Gender Studies, and many others elevated the impact of our #DearSurvivor event, solidifying its position as a catalyst in the fight against gender-based violence.

At Lunas Collective, we remain dedicated to advocating for a world free from violence and discrimination. Our inaugural #DearSurvivor event marked a significant stride towards this vision. By establishing a platform for voices to resonate, stories to be shared, and healing to begin, we've made a monumental move towards a safer, more equitable world for all.

Key insights from our #DearSurvivor event, visualized by Claudine Delfin:

Privilege Walk
Participants examined their personal privileges through a virtual check-in.

Some challenges related to experiences of gender based violence included the survivors’ distrust in the system, highlighting the importance of communities and allies in providing essential support.

The private sharing circles brought forth keywords like guilt, fear, low self-esteem, emphasizing the need for empathetic listening and empowering survivors.

Another key insight in the sharing circles was survivors’ need for empathetic listening and empathy – emphasizing community building and recognizing survivors' strength, and the role of allies in supporting survivors and letting them reclaim their space.

As part of the closing activity, some participants and panel members gave their words of affirmation, starting with the phrase, “Dear Survivor.”

 

We at Lunas Collective remain committed to championing change, amplifying voices, and building a world where every individual thrives without fear or discrimination.

 

Watch the online streaming here: #DearSurvivor 2020