Queen Mary Village

Kerala, India – This past summer traveling back home to the beautiful land of Kerala, appropriately titled “God’s own country”, I received more than the usual nostalgic comfort from being with my family. I recognized a seed of uncontrollable urge uprooted from within to speak up for those who are not given the opportunity to do so. There I was, 19 years of age and having just finished my first year of undergraduate studies pursuing the ultimate dream of medical school. Concerned only about my path and well-being on my short time on Earth, I found myself standing in a less than average sized bedroom surrounded by eight to ten baby cribs around me. Much like a symphony orchestra, the cries, laughter, and indistinguishable voices of these newborn babies came together in a melodic wave of realization that struck me, as I stood in the middle of this room asking myself, “What is my purpose in life?”

One hour before – My family and I were returning from a Catholic charismatic retreat centre to my mother’s home village, where my parents insisted we make a detour at Queen Mary Village, an institute housing and caring for women with unwanted pregnancies and providing a means to deliver children in a supportive and non-judgemental environment. Stepping through the doors of this building, I immediately encountered this peace and tranquility one experiences in a place of nourishment and life. Treated with warm hospitality and eager cheerfulness, my initial intuition was confirmed, as several young children (never having met us before) ran to us and embraced us with such love. It was a slight yet powerful reminder of the universal family. The more time we spent hearing about the mission of Queen Mary Village and how they were defending the lives of the vulnerable and upholding the rights of women who are ostracised by society and even their own families, a spark formed in my heart towards this establishment and all the good works they were conducting.

Founded as a charitable establishment in 2000, Queen Mary Village focuses on the prevention of pre-marital abortions by “giving them [pregnant women] shelter in a safe environment … and taking care of them till child birth.” Where after, the children are handed over to be raised and cared for at Queen Mary Village, transforming into the functions of orphanage. This charitable foundation then goes to care for these abandoned children by providing a means for their upbringing and ensuring proper families to adopt them. For the children that are unable to find adoptive parents, Queen Mary Village continues to care for them by equipping them with the tools, through education, to make the most out of life. Through this system several children have gone on to become working class citizens occupying jobs such as doctors, nurses, and business men/women. The task of Queen Mary Village does not just stop at the level of unwanted pregnancy and infancy but rather is wholesome, concerned for an individual’s life from beginning to end.

Since Queen Mary Village is non-profit organization, the funding of this establishment comes from the generosity of benefactors and donors who have bought in to the mission statement and good works of the institution. Another way of funding is through the Queen Mary Rosary Tower initiative where more than 180 women are hand making rosaries where they are distributed all over the world. With support of families from Singapore, U.A.E, Switzerland, U.K, and other countries including Canada, Queen Mary Village has actively saved the lives of hundreds of pre-born and supported pregnant women through difficult circumstances, to overall enhancing the lives of everyone who has encountered this organization.

Standing in this room for new-born infants, with eight to ten baby cribs surrounding me, I collapsed to me knees and understood the question that had dawned upon me, “What is my purpose in life?” Right from the mission statement of Queen’s Alive, my purpose in life was, is now, and will forever be to “affirm the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.” At that moment I took a vow to do anything I can to support these abandoned children and their courageous birth-mothers in this great organization by both prayer and financial support for as long as I possibly can. Through Queen’s Alive, I have been able to fulfill this promise thus far in my university experience, alongside my encouraging peers in the pro-life movement. All in all, my life and the life of all my brothers and sisters in this universal family would be unfulfilling without love, hope, and faith; all three of which can be found in both Queen Mary Village and Queen’s Alive.

Savio Cyril Kocherry
+J.M.J

 

 

Advertisements

Conversations on Campus Part 1

conversations

At a recent club meeting I decided to share a story I experienced while conversing about abortion with students on campus. It reminded me of just how important our conversations are and how much we can learn from them. This particular conversation helped me see, once again, how unfathomable the injustice of abortion is and how greatly the pro-life voice is needed on campus.

Myself and a couple other Queen’s Alive members were set up with our clipboards in MacCorry Hall and we were asking students what they thought about abortion using the Question Abortion Project.  I engaged in a conversation with one student passing by. In all honesty, I can’t remember if he was pro-choice or pro-life. What I do remember is giving him an analogy to determine whether he saw himself as someone who would fight for justice in the face of an obvious human rights violation. I asked him something to the effect of, “If there were facilities in our country specifically set up for the termination of toddlers, and anyone could bring their toddlers there for any reason or no reason at all to be killed, what would you do?”

The student, somewhat horrified, replied, “You do that here?”

It turned out he was an exchange student, and being a little less familiar with both Canadian laws and the English language, had mistaken my analogy for a fact. I immediately clarified that we do NOT do that here and everyone would be horrified if that type of behaviour occurred.

Of course, as I told this story to my club members, the underlying truth of my analogy became obvious. If the injustice of killing toddlers outrages us, then the injustice of killing younger human beings should too. After all, every toddler was once a newborn, and every newborn a fetus. We would be rightly outraged and stirred to action if even a handful of toddlers were being killed daily in Canada. How can we casually live with the reality that at least an average of 224* younger human beings are killed every day?

It seems I was wrong to correct myself so vehemently when I was speaking with the exchange student. Whether they are toddlers or fetuses, human beings are being killed in Canada. We do, in fact, “do that here.” Now the most important question remains: what will we do to end it?

-Christine Helferty

*2014 (most recent that is available) statistic from the Canadian Institution for Health Inform 

Being Feminist is being Pro-Life. Say What?

f4042ef6-e51b-460f-bab9-bc73658378e7

The pursuit for gender equality is an important issue in today’s world. Feminism has emerged in western society to advocate for women’s rights. Despite the term being misused in some cases by individuals or groups with other objectives, the core idea of feminism is very upright; women deserve the same rights as men. While North America is slowly making its way towards equal treatment of genders, much of the world still denies women many basic rights. Within this, there is a lesser known, and even more horrendous injustice occurring. Babies are being aborted or killed simply because they are female, and not male.

Referred to as gendercide, the massacre occurs mostly in developing countries, such as India and China. While different countries may have certain laws or culture, the most frequent motives regard family income and legacy.

In China, families prefer to have a son because he can work from a young age, bringing in more wealth. Additionally, China’s child limit policies coerce families to make decisions that do not favour girls. Historically, once the baby was born the family would choose whether to keep the baby or abandon it. Families now don’t have to wait until the baby is born to determine the gender. With ultrasound technology becoming more accessible, families can choose to have a baby aborted if it is not male.

India, with its deeply rooted cultural gender bias, makes mere survival difficult for girls. Statistically, 1 in 4 girls do not live past puberty1. Since the son carries on the family name and honour, daughters in a family are often used as means to benefit the family financially through arranged marriages.

The result of gendercide is that there is an increasing gender imbalance in the countries, in terms of men to women. In China, there are 37 million more men than women2. This is bound to have a negative emotional impact on men, many of whom will have difficulty finding a wife in their native country. Consequently, both men and women are being negatively affected by gender inequality in the world.

Although it would seem only right to have measures in place to protect women from this sort of cruelty in Canada, there are currently no laws against it before birth3. In fact, there are currently no laws against abortion in Canada at all, including sex selective abortion, meaning theoretically, this could occur in Canada. Furthermore, any abortion where an unborn female is killed is discrimination; She is being denied her most basic right – the right to life.

Feminism is ultimately a means, but the end should be life, more specifically, to live fully and freely. The statement that to be feminist should also be pro-life hinges on the fact that a girl must be born to live. If this right is taken away, then all other rights might as well be discarded. Equality in life should not just be limited to equality after birth.

Thus, feminism is a necessity to face this human rights violation. When considered in its global nature, any effort against such a global problem may seem insignificant. We must start somewhere – by upholding the dignity of life in our own situation, in the way we think, and with the people in our lives.

-Robert Brown

  1. It’s A Girl Documentary Film. (2016). Retrieved 6 September 2016, from http://www.itsagirlmovie.com/en/synopsis
  2. S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Annual Report 2008
  3. https://www.loc.gov/law/help/sex-selection/canada.php