At the University of Miami, a group of students have joined me in supporting LILA Pilipina through our own chapter of Friends of Lolas. We're holding an informational meeting next Thursday, February 28th 8PM at Hecht Residential College on the Coral Gables campus. Below is their call to action. For more information you can find their group listed on facebook. Read on!
This group, now FRIENDS OF LOLAS, emerged from Laban for the Lolas after the H.R. 121 passed in July 2007.
F.Y.I.: "Lola" means grandmother in Tagalog, the Filipino language.
- To raise public awareness on the issue of women and children in war through the testimonies and experiences of surviving WWII "comfort women"
- To befriend and support surviving Filipina "comfort women" at Lila Pilipina (an organization of survivors now in their 80's and 90's).
- To launch fundraising initiatives to support these women.
- During WWII the Japanese Imperial Army abducted over 200,000 girls and women from nations like Korea, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines and subjected them to military rape and enslavement.
- Over 1,000 women were Filipinas and 173 have publicly come forward.
- During the Spring 2007, Prime Minister Abe stated not enough evidence to prove coercion, and Laban for the Lolas -- now Friends of Lolas -- lobbied to pass House Resolution 121. H.R. 121 urged the Japanese government to apologize and take full responsibility of these war crimes.
-On July 30, 2007, H.R. 121 passed.
-The Japanese government has yet to respond.
This group supports Surviving Comfort Women of WWII and asks Japan (through the US Congress House Resolution 121) to take full responsibility for the pain and suffering of 200,000 young women and girls abducted and forced to serve in military sex camps.
Let's honor the women -- Comfort Women, abused women, our mothers and sisters, ourselves. Let us honor all women by taking a stand and letting the world know abduction of women, systematic rape and sexual slavery is unacceptable and inhumane behavior.
WHAT CAN YOU DO????
We are inviting UM students, organizations, and faculty to host one month of activities.
Each month, we would like an organization to sponsor these Lolas and fundraise for their community center which helps them with everyday needs, like food, transportation and the upkeep of LOLAS' HOUSE, their community center.
Organizations/ student groups would:
- do one fundraising activity of their choice, such as bake sales.
- host one event or forum that raises awareness to the Miami community about the "Comfort Women" issue.
- create a "care package" that highlights the activities that would be sent overseas to the Lolas.
We can't stress how this cause is a timely issue. These grandmothers are getting very old and their memory is slowly getting worse. These women are looking for support and any little act of kindness helps and means the world to them.
Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further questions or concerns.