We have been living in a liminal space, a continuum for the past nine months. We are at the threshold between the familiar past and the unknown future. The uncertainty, anxiety, and fear have grown as the world experiences the pandemic and economic recession. It is like being in a World War but the enemy is unseen and deadly.
We salute and thank the heroes — the frontliners, doctors, nurses, medical teams and health workers, who have given their energy, time and have risked their lives to save others.
We count our blessings and release all worries and negativity.
This Christmas wish list is for the children who are trapped and confined during this global crisis.
1. A healthy, clean home with loving parents who will guide and teach kids spiritual and family values and good manners. That all children will be safe from domestic violence and all forms of abuse.
2. Good health.That all children in the urban and rural areas will have proper nourishment, medical and dental care, and protection from the virus. That the essential vaccines to combat diseases will be available to all children especially in the remote areas.
3. Food. That millions of kids will have adequate food, vegetables and vitamins to nourish them so that they can grow up to become productive and creative.
4. Clothes. That the children in marginalized sectors of our communities will have basic clothing and footwear.
5. A pollution-free environment with clean air, pure water, open fields and parks with trees and flowers. That they could have the freedom to enjoy and appreciate nature. That they would learn how to protect the seas, rivers, lakes and forests.
6. Quality education. Children are now required to stay home and learn online. They need good, dedicated, and caring teachers with updated learning modules for both public and private schools. The lack of daily social interaction is a challenge. It limits the development of the social skills of younger children who miss being with their teachers and classmates. Mobile libraries.
7. Reliable, stable internet service for connectivity and distance learning. Protection from predators and cyber bullies, cyber trafficking. There is so much danger in cyberspace that kids are victimized and exploited.
8. A comprehensive sports program for national and international competitions. That kids will learn the values of friendly competition and the art of winning and losing gracefully. While in quarantine, young athletes can continue to train and be supervised by their coaches.
9. A progressive national arts and culture program with virtual outreach concerts and projects to elevate the consciousness of the children and their parents.
10. A gender discrimination-free society that will encourage girls and boys to aspire to become leaders in their future professions. The resources and opportunities to fulfill their goals.
11. Education grants for scholarships (with living allowance) for deserving students.
12. Quality and balance programming on television with more educational shows. That producers and directors will not exploit the aspiring young performers.
13. An accelerated science and math and internet technology program to equip all future graduates with skills to compete in the international markets.
14. A stable economy. Jobs and livelihood programs so that parents can work and earn a living. That children can concentrate on their studies and not have to work.
15. A country with visionary national leaders who are hardworking, honest and who have wisdom, integrity and heart.
16. A safe, crime-free, drug-free, abuse-free environment. That all kids will be protected from the menace of incest, physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. That the scourge of drugs and violence against children will dissipate.
17. That children will not be recruited and used as soldiers in areas of armed conflict.
18. Freedom of expression. The right to be themselves. That adults realize that children need respect and they are entitled to be heard. Open communication with parents and teachers and guidance counselors when needed.
19. Innocence. A happy childhood and the chance to enjoy being a child. Time to play, study and rest. Time to grow up — at his own pace — despite the current challenges.
We pray for spiritual grace, enlightenment, and protection, compassion, healing, forgiveness, and for world peace.
A Blessed Christmas to all!
Maria Victoria Rufino is an artist, writer and businesswoman. She is president and executive producer of Maverick Productions.