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Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:26

Hearing the voices of Persephone and our girls

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Wake up. Stand up. Rise up. Persephone’s abduction to the underworld:


Persephone, a Greek goddess and only child of Demeter and Zeus, was abducted one bright sunny day by Hades — the King of the Underworld. Persephone was always a cheerful and compliant child. She was a parent’s dream.
Members of the community say Hades simply snatched her up when she stopped to pick wildflowers near her home. Demeter, her mother heard Persephone’s screams when Hades grabbed her. Grief, sorrow, range and anger consumed her. The ground shook. The earth trembled. Hades took her to his underworld kingdom to make her his queen. Persephone disappeared.
More than 270 girls are kidnapped in northern Nigeria:
Almost one month ago, more than 270 teenage girls were kidnapped in the Nigerian city of Bornu while taking their exams. It is assumed the girls were taken by Boko Haram, a local Islamic extremist group whose name means “western education is forbidden.” It is feared the girls have been sold into marriage to the militants and some have been moved to nearby countries of Cameroon and Chad. The situation is horrific. Parents and loved ones are devastated. The ground shook. The earth trembled. The girls disappeared.
Attempted abduction of Swift Current child on the southside:
Almost two weeks ago, an eight-year-old girl was walking home when a van pulled up beside her. A witness told police that
a man who was a passenger in the van opened the door and told the young girl
to get inside. The girl ran from the man and he chased her for a short distance. Mounties conducted patrols but were unable to locate the suspect vehicle.
The ground shook. The earth trembled. The girl ran to safety.
FREE2BGirlz empowerment camp for teen girls:
On May 5, I sat in a circle at O.M. Irwin School and was inspired by the parents who showed up and the young teen girls that came with them.
This was an orientation night hosted
by Southwest Crisis Services (SWCS) as they launch their newest initiative: FREE2BGirlz. Southwest Crisis Services is offering a summer camp for Teen Girls (ages 11 -14). FREE2BGirlzis a week-long camp in August to inspire, engage, and empower teen girls.
One parent shared how thankful she is that FREE2BGirlz has been created. Parents spoke of how important it is
for their girls to be strong, powerful, inspired, healthy, safe and confident.
I could feel the palpable love these parents have for their daughters. I could feel the underlying worry and concern for their daughter’s safety and the “what if’s” of their future. I was struck by the timing of this FREE2BGirlz event with global and local happenings: the recent attempted child abduction in Swift Current and the kidnapping of almost
300 girls in northern Nigeria.
I was reminded of the story of Persephone. I was reminded of the power of a mother’s love.
Wake up, stand up, rise up:
The world situation can sometimes be a strong wake up call to how we take action into our own lives.
As Jaime Lee Curtis wrote in the Huffington Post: “The situation in Nigeria has focused us on the plight of these abducted girls, but were we blind before to this possibility? It always takes a current event to snap us out of our collective fog, to clear away the cobwebs of our own inaction and make us take notice”.
Doris Kizinna, B.C. Conference, United Church of Canada youth and young adult minister, says “feeling for a cause is one thing, but acting is a whole other step. If every single person who has the privilege of posting (on social media/Facebook) did something tangible and hands-on to make change, the world would truly be a different place.”   
Remember the statement: “It takes a village to raise a child.” We are the village. Each one of us responsible for tending, nurturing and growing it together.
That means getting off your couch, turning off the TV, and getting out there to meet your neighbour and take action in something that matters to you such as our children and our girls.
Expect justice. Be an organized active response to ending violence towards women and girls. Let’s become a fierce unstoppable movement and community of love, respect and responsibility. Let’s create a community where girls should spend their lives creating and thriving rather than surviving or recovering
from terrible atrocities.
Let us create a community where all can life safely and freely.
Why does it take an attempted child abduction to make us stop? Why do we have to wait for the kidnapping of nearly 300 girls on the other side of the world to make us pause? How are we paying attention to the girls in our own community? Right now! What matters is why you do what you do? Why do you stay silent? Why do you rage? Why do you empower? Why do you speak up? Why do you rise? It is because of what you believe in and what matters to you.
Southwest Crisis Services knows
what matters to them. Children matter to them. Families matter to them. Their FREE2BGirlz program is an initiative of the heart. They are choosing to get their hands dirty and to take action. SWCS believes in building healthier families and communities together.
My invitation:
Be engaged in your community. Get involved on a project. Get your heart involved and your hands dirty to make a remarkable positive change in the world. Put the girls in the world and in your community, in your thoughts, prayers, and meditations. Put all Nigerian women, men, and activists who have been taking and continue to take to the streets until the girls are brought back to their families safely in your prayers. Put yourself in your prayers and ask for the strength and courage to be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone, get your hands dirty, and do the work that is needed to create a safe and free world for all.
Like what you’ve read? Desire more? Shine on with Christine and join other Joyful Abundant Life Seekers as together we shine every week. Sign up for my
“Be Alive & Shine” Newsletter at www.welcometokiva.com. For more tips and tools on how to live abundantly from the inside out, please visit me online or join us at KIVA (in the Carmel Mall).
You are always welcome.
For more information on the FREE2BGirlz program please contact Southwest Crisis Services at 306-778-3386/306-773-1064
(Visit Christine at www.welcometokiva.com; Twitter@ChristineCiona or Facebook/KIVAsacredstudio)

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