On March 15th, Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary reaffirmed the Church’s commitment to stand against exploitation and oppression at the “Commitment Day Against Trafficking in Persons.” The event drew a host of significant political and civic figures from the Philippines and partnering nations and marks a significant step for the nation in its fight against human trafficking. Among those in attendance were Vice-President of the Republic of the Philippines, Jejomar Binay, as well as ambassadors and officials from the United States, Australia and the Netherlands. APNTS representatives included Dr. Robert Donahue, Director of the Donald Owens School of World Mission; Dr. Nativity Petallar, Director of the Holistic Child Development Program; Mrs. Calm Mijares, Dean of Students; and Jarrett Davis, Communications Officer.
Donahue spoke at the event, explaining the APNTS’ pledge to aid in empowering vulnerable communities through alternative learning, values formation and vocational, life skills and computer training. These, and initiatives like them, play an integrative role in combatting the trafficking of persons.
A leading front of the anti-human trafficking initiatives at APNTS is a program called “StepUP”. This program offers employable computer and life skills to out-of-school youth from at-risk communities. Presently, the program operates in multiple regions around the Philippines, and envisions further expansion on the Asia Pacific Region of the Church of the Nazarene in the coming years.
APNTS continues to expand its advocacy in these areas through the integration of trafficking and migration issues into its curriculum, and by encouraging its students and ministry partners to support such community-based initiatives. This event signifies a meaningful and important stride in the Church’s efforts in the troubling area of trafficking and exploitation of persons.
By Jarrett Davis
APNTS Communications Officer