“UERM CAReS cares” said by Mr Florentino R. Saldivar in his speech as a guest for the inspiration talk held on the opening ceremonies last July 16 for the 37th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week gave meaning to the plethora of programs prepared by the College of Allied Rehabilitation Sciences for both disabled and students alike.
With the theme “Health and Wellness Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities toward Inclusive Development for All”, the CAReS staff and students prepared and headed programs that would benefit PWDs both in their health and self-esteem. These programs such as Zumba for patients with stroke and amputees and the medical mission held in barangay Malaria, Caloocan signified PWDs inclusion to society, that they too deserve a normal life similar to ours.
To start the week-long event, spearheaded by Ms. Honielet Diane M. Santos, the CAReS Campus Ministry Club invited Reverend Efren De Guzman to hold a mass to bless the forthcoming events. Afterwards, Mr. Gerald Lester Caoili led the opening ceremonies which would introduce the events held during the week. Ms. Shane A. Regalado gave a special number with her angelic voice and Mr.Florentino R. Saldivar, as the inspirational speaker, shared his experiences as an amputee looking for work and the struggles he fought through in society.
As the ceremonies ended, a certificate of appreciation was given to Mr. Saldivar and Ms. Regalado by Dr. Cortez and Ms. Santos. Other programs were introduced and promoted at the end of the opening program. The weeklong celebration includes a Yoga fitness class, seminars on anti-drug use and anti-bullying campaign,Taebo session held by the CAReS Knights Club,“PaTabaan ng Utak” quiz bee held by the Mentor’s Society, and a Basic Life Support Seminar headed by the Fire Emergency Paramedic Assistance Group (FEPAG). These programs not only promote health and wellness, but also camaraderie, a sense of communality, and brotherhood.
Albert Schweitzer said that “The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings”. In order to eliminate prejudices and discrimination, we must learn to accept our differences with each other because only then will we create unity. It should start with our actions because in doing so, we may be able to inspire other people to do the same. The CAReS National Disability and Rehabilitation week aims not only to give enjoyment and educate health and wellness to the community, but to also influence other people to stop their discrimination against PWDs and learn that they too are just like us.