Cancer Survivors Belly Dancing Together

By: Kristine Alarcon

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In Charlottesville, Virginia, women cancer survivors are belly dancing together at the My Body Raqs class. The belly dancing class was created specifically for cancer survivors to help them cope with movement through gentle dance. Any cancer survivor is welcome after treatment and diagnosis as no dance experience is required and the class is free.

Jenner LaFleur is the program director and a two-time breast cancer survivor. During her recovery from her surgery after chemotherapy, radiation, and mastectomy, she hoped to combine her experience with cancer and her passion for dance. LaFleur hoped to restore confidence and strength in survivors and ultimately help them feel more like themselves again.

The first series of the My Body Raqs class is from May 7-June 25. There other sessions planned from September-October and January-February.

Kristine Alarcon graduated at the University of San Francisco with a Bachelors of Science in Biology. She is working towards certification in Sterile Processing and Distribution. She is a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.

Reference:

“Cancer Survivor Helping Other Survivors Recover with Dance.” NBC 29. Retrieved on May 9, 2015. http://www.nbc29.com/story/29010048/cancer-survivor-helping-other-survivors-recover-with-dance

Photo Credit: (NBC29) http://www.nbc29.com/story/29010048/cancer-survivor-helping-other-survivors-recover-with-dance

An Artist Finds A Way To Open The Conversation About Human Trafficking

By: Charmaine Santos

Edited by: Sharon E. Chin

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Molly Gochman, a Texas-born New York based artist, has fused art and activism together to open up the conversation about human trafficking. Her “Red Sand Project” uses a theme of cracks to represent the U.S.- Mexico border to illustrate the vulnerability that plague many trafficking victims. Gochman interviewed with The Untitled Magazine about her project and human trafficking.

Gochman confided that she took a break from her art in order to learn about human trafficking and figure out how she can be of use to preventing it. She decided to base her large-scale public project in Houston because it is known to be a hub for trafficking. Gochman says, “I thought it would be a great city to kind of put my roots down as far as a land art instillation.”

The shape of the land art instillation is like the shape of the border between the United States and Mexico. While on her break, she noticed that cracks are often overlooked, though they are vulnerable places that we see all the time. Similarly, victims of human trafficking are vulnerable and often overlooked, even when they are in plain sight. She invited the community to participate by putting the final layer of bright red sand on top. Gochman explains that the layers of sand are at the same level as the grass in the area so someone driving by won’t notice the bright red line that is there, just like how human trafficking is hiding in plain sight.

Charmaine Santos is a sophomore at the University of San Francisco pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Biology as well as minors in Chemistry and Health Studies. She volunteers alongside UCSF medical students at a student-run homeless clinic in San Francisco and is also an active volunteer with Operation Access. Charmaine is also a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.

Reference:

Jones, A. (2015, May 4). “Socially Responsible Art—The Red Sand Project—Interview With Artist Molly Gochman.” The Untitled Magazine. Retrieved May 20, 2015 from http://untitled-magazine.com/socially-responsible-art/

Photo Credit: (Molly Gochman) http://untitled-magazine.com/socially-responsible-art/

What is your ACE score? Take the Quiz.

By: Kristine Alarcon

ACES

 

An Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) score is an indicator of neglect, abuse, and other types of hallmarks in a rough childhood. Individuals with a higher ACE score have an increased risk of developing health issues.
Your ACE score can be determined with a quiz here.
The ACE score is only an indicator of one risk among many. A person’s genes, diet, and habits like drinking or smoking should also be taken into account when considering the overall health of an individual. Also, ACE scores do not factor in positive experiences such as having support from friends, other family members, or other close relationships.

Kristine Alarcon graduated at the University of San Francisco with a Bachelors of Science in Biology. She is working towards certification in Sterile Processing and Distribution. She is a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.

Reference:

Starecheski, Laura. “Take the ACE Quiz and Learn What It Does and Doesn’t Mean.” National Public Radio. Retrieved on May 9, 2015. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/03/02/387007941/take-the-ace-quiz-and-learn-what-it-does-and-doesnt-mean

Photo Credit: (Northwest Center for Public Health Practice | School of Public Health) http://www.nwcphp.org/training/opportunities/webinars/adverse-childhood-experiences

Earthquakes in Nepal Exacerbate Child Marriage

By: Sara Kim
Edited By: Sharon E. Chin

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According to the United Nations, 1 out of every 3 girls in developing countries are married off before they turn the age of 18. Girls are typically forced into matrimony because their families cannot afford to care for them, or because the groom’s family receives financial gain from the bride’s dowry. Because the amount of dowry increases as the girls get older, many poor families try to wed their daughters as early as they can.

Nepal exemplifies the child-bride culture, where 10% of Nepalese girls are given over to marriage before they reach the age of adulthood. Although some may argue that child-brides are part of certain cultures and should be left alone, opponents to child marriage contend that this custom increases the likelihood of complications during birth as well as exposure to sexual and domestic abuse. Many times, becoming a child bride robs a girl of their chance to fully appreciate their childhood and finish their education.

Nepal had undertaken a strategy to combat child marriage, but recent earthquakes in the country have undermined such efforts. Not only did it bring a halt to the strategy, but experts predict that the earthquakes triggered increased rates of child marriage and sex trafficking. Because many children lost their parents in the disaster, there are more vulnerable children for sex traffickers to prey upon.

Anand Tamang, the director of a Nepalese campaign to combat child marriage (CREHPA), reported that many girls have been raped in refugee sites and/or kidnapped to be sold into sex trafficking. In order to protect their daughters, parents have increased their efforts to immediately marry them off. Even the government cannot intervene at this point since their current priority lies in rebuilding the country from the catastrophe. Such conditions make a perfect environment for defenseless girls to fall victim to abuses amidst what some consider the deadliest natural disaster known to the Himalayas.


Sara (Da Som) Kim is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes.


Reference: Batha, Emma. “Child marriages, trafficking will soar after Nepal quake.” F. World. May 20, 2015. URL: http://www.firstpost.com/world/child-marriages-trafficking-will-soar-after-nepal-quake-charity-reuters-2253038.html. Date accessed 5/20/15.

Photo Credit: AFP/ Getty Images/ P. Mathema.
[http://www.dw.de/nepal-earthquake-death-toll-climbs-over-2100/a-18408901]

Program Assistance Helped Save Filipina Mom from Traffickers

By: Charmaine Santos

Edited by: Sharon E. Chin

 

filipino momo

Joy, whose real name is withheld to protect identity, and her husband made coconut wine and sold two barrels a week to support their family in the hills of Ormoc City in the central Philippine islands. Nearly half the population in the region lives in poverty. When Super Typhoon Haiyan came in November 2013, it destroyed most of the infrastructure that laid in its path and the winds damaged up to 90% of the coconut trees in some areas. Those who depended on these coconut trees to make a living were then left with no source of income and faced even more hardships.

Having no house or food, Joy desperately sought work and found a job as a domestic helper for $50/month. After Joy moved to work in a nearby province for $70/month, Joy’s employers kept her without pay for 7 months and physically abused her. Joy could not escape and shared, “I didn’t think I would make it out alive. I thank God every day that I am still breathing.”
USAID partnered with World Vision to start the “Prevention of Trafficking in Persons through Sustainable Livelihood Recovery for Typhoon-Affected People Program” in April 2014. This program aims to reduce people’s exposure to trafficking in 10 Ormoc villages and restore farming there; Ormoc and the surrounding areas are a historical hot spot where traffickers recruit women, men and children. The yearlong project hopes to reach 14,000 people through public assemblies and campaign materials. USAID and World Vision taught the Ormoc City community how to identify and report suspicious behavior, which lead to Joy’s husband realizing that Joy was being trafficked. Her husband reported the case and Joy was rescued.

The program provided Joy’s family 2 piglets so that they can sell and invest the income into a home-based farm. Joy says, “These piglets have made it possible for us to earn income without needing to leave our village.” The assistance also helps to ensure that vulnerable families like Joy’s don’t have to consider jobs from recruiters. Joy is now confident about her future and hopes that their family can return to the coconut wine business. 

Charmaine Santos is a sophomore at the University of San Francisco pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Biology as well as minors in Chemistry and Health Studies. She volunteers alongside UCSF medical students at a student-run homeless clinic in San Francisco and is also an active volunteer with Operation Access. Charmaine is also a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.

Reference:

Surviving a Super Typhoon and Escaping Traffickers in the Philippines. (2015). USAID. Retrieved May 20, 2015 from http://www.usaid.gov/results-data/success-stories/surviving-super-typhoon-and-escaping-traffickers-filipino-mother-fights

Photo Credit: https://www.childfund.org/childfund-emergency/