Guma' Esperansa Training

July 11, 2011

Guma' Esperansa is offering an opportunity for community members to be trained as volunteer community advocates for sexual assault victims.

A press release from Guma' Esperansa stated:
Guma' Esperansa is offering a training opportunity for community advocates who can effectively and meaningfully respond to incidents of sexual assault.

Advocates will provide victims with crisis intervention, referral of services through a 24-hour hotline, counseling and accompaniment to medical appointment, police interviews and civil and criminal court proceedings.

Selected candidates will receive 40 hours of training on sexual assault services and advocacy skills and coordinate with Guma' Esperansa staff to provide top-quality services to victims of sexual assault.

Guma' Esperansa ensures that services will be accessible to all in need, with special attention to culturally and linguistically isolated ethnic communities.

Volunteer applicants should be 18 years of age or above; have a strong desire to volunteer and take part in the training; preferably be fluent in more than one spoken language in the CNMI; and be interested in issues of gender violence including domestic violence and sexual assault.

Interested qualifying applicants can get an application form at Karidat main office in Chalan Kanoa or email for an electronic copy of the application.
The completed application should be submitted by July 31, 2011with a current police clearance within the last six months.

This is timely, as just last month the U.S. Department of State's 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report exposed that the CNMI has a high rate of trafficking, including trafficking for the sex industry. From the report:
In CNMI, there were six reported human trafficking cases involving multiple victims held in clubs, restaurants and massage parlors. A trend was observed involving the cancellation of victims’ return airplane tickets upon admission, stranding them with no financial means to return and rendering them wholly dependent on their employers. During the reporting period, the Federal Labor Ombudsman identified 71 victims of trafficking or fraud in labor contracting, of whom about 20 percent were sex trafficking victims. In 2010, the NGO working on the local anti-trafficking task force assisted 36 human trafficking victims and 40 fraud in labor contracting victims; an additional 31 victims qualified for services but could not be assisted due to insufficient funds.
(See also this post, 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report)

In March 2011, Guma' Esperansa's Director Laurie Ogumoro received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Social Workers Guam Chapter. The Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to a social worker who is "a chapter member and demonstrates repeated outstanding achievements, recognition beyond the social work profession, contributions of lasting impact, and outstanding creativity." Laurie has been director of this outstanding nonprofit for nine years.