Executive director Ana Maria “Gwen” Rellin-Ngolaban of the Fellowship for Organizing Endeavors or FORGE will receive the family Award in a ceremony today at the Grand Ballroom of Cebu City Marriot Hotel.
The Family Values Award is given annually by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to community leaders in Asia, Europe and the United States who are striving to advance the standards and values that are consistent with the church’s position on the sanctity of the family.
The Church is citing Ngolaban for improving family relations and promoting self-reliance among the Cebuano families, and reintegrating young women involved in the flesh trade with their families.
Other Filipinos who received the award are former Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary LIna B. Laigo, Synergeia Foundation Inc. president and CEO Dr. Milwida M. Guevarra, Alberto Malvar of SERVE Inc., Gawad Kalinga’s Antonio “Tony” Meloto, former United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Child Protection Unit director, Leopoldo Moselina, and lawyer Victor Maambong and his wife, Dr. Geselita Maambong from Cebu.
Ngolaban founded the FORGE in January 1989 along with four other women. She remained the only active co-founder of the Visayas-based organization and the kept the programs going.
In the Family Development Program, families participate in creative workshops, study sessions and other activities that improve family relations and promote self-reliance. Parents and children are taught how to resolve family conflicts and improve communication.
In RESCUE (Rescuing Sexually Exploited Children Under Eighteen), FORGE volunteers would go to places frequented by young women involved in the flesh trade, befriend them and find information about the girl’s family. The young woman’s family is then invited to get involved in the family development program. This includes discussions on children’s rights and parenting, as well as children-parent dialogues in preparation for the child’s reintegration into the family.
Source: Cebu Daily News, Friday, 5 September 2008 in the COMMUNITY SECTION.