Guam News - Guam News
Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site
With an overwhelming number of the island's youth at DYA of Chuukese descent, Chuuk First Lady Mrs. Bersita Emilo spoke passionately about her hope to help the children at the Mangilao compount. She is on island touring the facility and meeting with children of Chuukese descent who are confined for various crimes from petty to criminal.
DYA Director Adonis Mendiola explains the numbers and provides some insight as to what may be causing the problems. He says of the 606 children who were confined last year, 210 of them were of Chuukese descent, 188 Chamorros, 30 Filipinos and 17 of them of mixed ethnicities.
Asked what she hopes to achieve with her presence at the DYA compount, Emilo cut straight to the point.
"I am hoping that with this visit [the numbers] will be reduced or they will know that we or I, the representative of Chuuk--we do care about them. We don't want them to repeat the same thing they have done. And I would like to show them that we do care about the people here," says Emilo.
DYA Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Carlos Perez meets with the children at DYA on a weekly basis. Perez shed some light into the barriers impeding on the ability of Chuukese children to succeed on Guam, which, despite their proximities, is worlds apart from Chuuk in terms of culture, language and educational resources.
At today's tour, the children, who despite their reputations as being troublemakers, were well behaved and respectful toward the first lady, who also spoke to them in her native language. She shook hands with some of the children, most of whom, she says, are from her hometown in Chuuk. With that in mind and as an educator, she says she found an even deeper connection to the children and expressed her desire to return to Guam to visit the children again in the near future.
Mrs. Emilo leaves tomorrow back to Chuuk. While here she met with fellow educators such as Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez and Deputy Superintendent Robert Malay.
|< Prev||Next >|