The Second Annual Survivor’s Celebration, a presentation through C.A.R.E. (Child Abuse Recognition) on Thursday at Bethel University’s Vera Low Building was commemorated with speeches, skits, songs, poems and dance.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The program was organized and coordinated by Fatelia Avery, president of the C.A.R.E. organization, and a survivor of abuse herself.
C.A.R.E. is an organization dedicated to helping and working with children who are sexually abused.
“The organization is dedicated to giving children a ‘window of hope’ through advocacy, mentoring and relationship building,” said Autumn Cardenas, who gave the purpose of ‘Our window.’ “It shows children that we do care for them and that they are not alone.”
In April 2015, C.A.R.E. was launched just to participate in Bethel’s annual recognition of sexual abuse.
This event brings survivors and others together to inspire and encourage.
During the program, a Renaissance Theatre group presented a skit, “All We Ask” by Y. Chambers, A. Appleberry and S. Fowler.
Kelsey Wynn, Adoption Coordinator for Omni Visions Children’s Program, said everyone is responsible to report abuse.
“It’s not only your responsibility, but it is the law to report it,” she said. “I’ve cried over kids that have passed away.”
She said if you see abuse, you can call the National Child’s Hotline at 1-800- 422-4453 or the State Hotline at 1-877- 237-0004.
The Renaissance Theatre group presented other parts of the program that included the song, “The Climb” by brothers Larrun and Darnell Neder, an instrumental by Danielle Conner, an inspiration dance by Tatyana Lee and Eboni Guy; a song, “Smile” by Kenson Cook and the song, “Broken Wing” by Hannah Pearson. An inspirational poem was read by Montierra Crum, Marnicia Harmon and Camille Alexander.
Amanda Avery introduced keynote speaker Brenda Faulkner Smith.
The speaker said she was there to give words of encouragement.
“I want you to move from survivors to overcomers,” said Smith. “To be an overcomer means that you have prevailed. God made you a winner. He didn’t design you to fail. God made you an achiever.”
She added that success is not a lifestyle.
“Success is an attitude,” she concluded.
Fatelia Avery concluded the program by telling how she overcame her situation.
She said becoming involved with the C.A.R.E. organization was her healing process.
Next semester, Fatelia will be a senior. She is studying criminal justice and has plans to become a lawyer.
A reception concluded the program.