May 18, 2024

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) and Regional Haven for Women and Girls (RHWG) conducted a transformative Lenten activity for its residents on March 29 to 20 at San Pablo Seminary, Baguio City, where the residents engaged in a deeply enriching Lenten recollection activity.

The two-day activity provided the residents with the opportunity for reflection, renewal, and spiritual growth, as they embarked on a journey of self-discovery and contemplation during the Lenten season.

It also gave the participants opportunity to pause from their daily routines and connect with their inner selves, fostering a sense of inner peace and tranquility.

“Recollection is not good enough if we do not have reflection,” RHWG Center Head Concepcion Navales said.

She said the seminary is the perfect place for reflection, and encouraged the participants to ponder on the importance of the Lenten season.

“We hope the seminary would contribute to your development,” Rev. Father Nicolia Schekov Ballucang of the San Pablo Seminary said when he welcomed the participants.

Residents engaged in prayer sessions, guided meditations, inspirational talks and group discussions, all designed to encourage inner peace, personal growth, and emotional healing.

The setting of the event was one of tranquility and camaraderie, as residents embraced the opportunity to take a break from their daily activities, deepen their spiritual understanding, and enhance their connection with their inner selves.

One of the discussions was self-discovery, where passages in the Bible, like Genesis 2:7-8, were discussed to the participants as a guide for their introspection.

The topics under this theme revolved around knowing one’s self internally and through the eyes of others, and more importantly, self-acceptance as the first step to self-improvement.

The next concept explained to the participants was the importance of genuine connection and conversations.

After each discussion, activities were assigned to the participants so they can apply what they learned from the discussions.

One of the activities was regarding their names, its origin and meaning, which helped them appreciate their identity and fortify their sense of self.

Another activity that made the participants realize their worth and strengthen their friendship with their peers involved drawing the face of the participant whom they considered their true friend. They also had a sharing about a brief history and value of their friendship.

The second day of the recollection started with the discussion about friendship, and the participants were reminded that a good friend will not lead their friend in harm’s way.

The value of self-care was also given emphasis. Self-care was also an important discussion for the residents as they were advised that they cannot take care of others if they do not take care of themselves first.

The last discussion was about choices and decisions in life. During the sharing, the significance of making the right choices and good decisions was highlighted. The participants were also reminded and assured that their past actions do not define them, and they are worthy of love, chances, and respect.

In the afternoon of the second day, the activities for the residents were inclined on their physiological development where they participated in a meditative yoga session that gave them a chance to practice mindfulness while taking care of their bodies.

The participants also joined an introspective nature walk and tree planting activity which gave them a greater sense of contribution to the community as this act of kindness to nature and community is known to have environmental benefits, like mitigating climate change.

During the environmental scanning, the residents were also given the time to reflect and contemplate on the discussions that took place.

The two-day activity provided the residents with a supportive environment where they were able explore their spirituality, seek solace in their faith, and strengthen their emotional and mental well-being. By nurturing the spiritual aspect of our residents’ lives, they are empowered to overcome challenges, cultivate resilience, and embark on a path towards positive transformation and personal growth.

The RRCY and RHWG are facilities under the DSWD dedicated to provide care, support, and rehabilitation services to youth in conflict with the law and women and girls in difficult circsumstances. – Joanna Marie M. Caponpon-Apostol