Church confers Family Values Award
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Manila and Cebu City | March 2010 | Atty. Esperanza G. Lorenzana (Founder of Share-A-Child Movement), AnakTV Foundation and Angela Maria L. Pangan (President and Chair of NORFIL Foundation) were the recipients of the 2009 Family Values Award given in separate rites in Cebu and Manila on November 5 and 24, respectively.
The Church presents the Family Values Award annually to community leaders in many parts of the world to recognize the honorable efforts of moral, upstanding community leaders who are striving to advance standards and values that are consistent with the Church’s position on the sanctity of the family. The friends and family of the awardees, government and church officials, celebrities, social development agency representatives, business leaders, and the media attended the dinner events in Cebu and Manila.
Share-A-Child
Atty. Esperanza G. Valenzona founded the Cebu-based Share-A-Child Movement 27 years ago after working with children who have come in conflict with the law. The 91-year old child-welfare advocate is helping children from the poorest of the poor get an education in the hope that school would keep them safe and away from prison. She unfailingly looked for scholarships for the children, set up a network of community libraries, and taught abused children to fight for their rights.
She was also conferred the Silver Award by the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in recognition of her outstanding service in encouraging young offenders to participate in the Boy Scout program so that they can cultivate traits that would make them better individuals. She made the welfare and rehabilitation of young prisoners her advocacy.
In her acceptance speech, read by her daughter Niña, she said, “Problems of crime, abuse and exploitation have become so commonplace that I fear for the future of our children. Let us not allow evil to overwhelm our society and define our sense of personhood.”
Atty. Valenzona, a mother of nine children, expressed gratefulness to the Church for the recognition and vowed to continue to contribute to the cause of children’s welfare.
Family-friendly Programs
AnakTV, formerly the Southeast Asian Foundation for Children and Television, is the first institutional recipient of the award. Established in 1997 by a handful of television executives, AnakTV’s core advocacy is to help families understand the need for prudence in watching television. It screens various TV shows to determine which programs are child-sensitive and family friendly. These programs are then given the AnakTV seal – the seal of family-friendly programs.
“Isn’t it ironic that all of us take extra measures to ensure the safety of our family physically [while] on the other hand, our families are widely open to the evil influences that go through the airwaves?” was the question posed by Elder Michael John U. Teh of the Philippines Area Presidency during his message. “We are grateful for the efforts of AnakTV to help people realize that it’s not only the physical dangers that are critical but also the degrading values we see all around us,” Elder Teh emphasized.
‘A woman for others’
A psychology graduate from the University of the Philippines, Angela Pangan on the other hand, was described as ‘a woman for others’, dedicating herself to social development work that spans almost 50 years. After studying and acquiring experience both in the Philippines and abroad, she translated her social work advocacy by establishing the NORFIL Foundation in 1983.  Initially started by a Norwegian family (that is why it is NORFIL - for Norway and Filipino), at a children’s institution, Ms. Pangan continued on the legacy. One of NORFIL’s core services is to help abandoned, neglected, abused, and differently-abled children and youth. Through its Foster Home Care and Community–Based Rehabilitation programs, NORFIL has helped over 8,000 young Filipinos. The Foundation, now on its 26th year of operation, also takes care of single expectant women some of whom are victims of rape or incest, through its Community-Based Counseling and Group Care.
 “We honor Ms. Pangan for her untiring labors and for dedicating a lifetime to helping people have a new lease on life,” praised Elder Teh. “Our country will be blessed if we had more people like her,” Elder Teh added. 
Advocacy worth fighting for
In her remarks, Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral lauded the Church and the awardees for believing “that good old family values are an advocacy worth fighting for.”
“The attitudes that are anti-family result in the injustices and inequities plaguing our society today. Your continued determination to pursue this mission fills me with hope that we can reverse the tides of change that are inimical to our institutions and replace them with a wave of moral renewal that places an emphasis on family values that have served human society so well for so long,” Cabral continued.
Now on its fifth year in the Philippines, past recipients of this international award include Gawad Kalinga founding Executive Director Antonio ‘Tony’ Meloto, former Social Welfare Secretary Lina Laigo, and Synergeia Foundation Chief Dr. Milwida Guevara.