Social JusticeMarch 28, 2020

Shattered inside

How my work as a social entrepreneur and anti-trafficking activist was built on unaddressed trauma.
2020-06-26 00:00:00 India Development Review Shattered inside
1 Min read Share

I became a mother as I was leading the liberation movement in my home country of the Philippines. I hid in the mountains and the military ran an endless pursuit. To keep my first-born safe, I was forced to give him to my relatives. My eldest son and I were separated for 12 years.

After five years of fighting and hiding, my husband and I were captured in a gun battle that took eight hours. I was then pregnant with my second child.  My three comrades suffered a different fate—they were killed in front of me. While the boys were kneeling, I begged for mercy. “I regret to say, madam, this is mercy killing and we are under martial law,” said my comrades’ executioner.

This is an excerpt from the article, Shattered Inside: How My Work As a Social Entrepreneur and Anti-Trafficking Activist Was Built on Unaddressed Trauma by Ma. Cecilia Flores-Oebanda.

This article is a part of a special series on the connection between inner well-being and social change, in partnership with The Wellbeing ProjectStanford Social Innovation ReviewSchwab Foundation at the World Economic Forum, and Skoll Foundation.

We want IDR to be as much yours as it is ours. Tell us what you want to read.


We hope the conversations that take place on will be energetic, constructive, and thought-provoking. To ensure the quality of the discussion, our moderating team will review all comments and may edit them for clarity, length, and relevance. Comments that are overly promotional, mean-spirited, or off-topic may be deleted per the moderators' judgment. All posts become the property of India Development Review.
Get smart.
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter, IDR Edit.
Follow us
Get smart. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter, IDR Edit.

IDR is India’s first independent media platform for the development community.

We publish cutting edge ideas, lessons and insights, written by and for the people working on some of India’s toughest problems. Our job is to make things simple and relevant, so you can do more of what you do, better.

IDR is produced in partnership with Ashoka University’s Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy.

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact
© 2020 India Development Review    
India Development Review is published by the Forum for Knowledge and Social Impact, a not-for-profit company registered under Section 8 of the Company Act, 2013.
CIN: U93090MH2017NPL296634