Eli, Zoe & Zia Mascarinas Green Education Fund

For: Zoe, Zia and Eli Mascariňas-Green
United Kingdom
Organizer: John Claussen, Sarah Hogan, Chase Jaz, James Sloan, Meg Caldwell, Justin Adams and Belinda Morris
$25,585
of $100,000 goal.
Raised by 102 donors
25% Complete
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The Story

On February 15th, 2017, as she drove her three children home from school, Mia Manuelita “Atty. Mia” C. Mascariñas-Green, an environmental, women’s and children’s rights lawyer, was brutally and mercilessly gunned down by several assailants in her hometown in Bohol Province, Philippines.

Mia was a lifelong advocate who believed that everyone, young or old, rich or poor, had rights and that ultimately the legal system would work for all. And she lived by her belief, making sure that everyone who walked into her office was given the time and support they needed. She very passionately pursued the interests of her clients, even in the face of great risk. She staunchly confronted at least four attempts to stop her through disbarment, all of which failed. She received death threats and shrugged them off as part of a lawyer’s job. She would re-evaluate the situation if needed, but, fearless in her convictions, she never backed down from any situation, dutifully doing her work, faithfully following the creed of her profession, and staying true to her promise to be fair while also making a difference in people’s lives.

But above all, Mia was a devoted, caring mother who always put her children first. The children were the center of her life. She ensured that every activity, whether waking up, drinking milk, going to sleep and especially bathing was a fun event for her 10-year-old daughter, Zoe Grace, and 23-month-old twins Eli James and Zia Grace. Having experienced losing her own mother when she was 6 years old, she felt she needed to spend as much time with her children as she could. And she was a great mother to the end. In her final conscious moments, she thought only of her children: Instead of facing her assailants or attempting to defend herself, her final act was to turn her head to look at her three children and ensure that they were not hurt.

Mia's most important priority and fervent wish were to ensure that her children have access to a good education. As a summa cum laude and class salutatorian at Divine Word College, Mia believed that a good education is the best platform for a successful life. Two months before her death, Mia expressed to her husband her wish that, in the event of either of them passing prematurely, the surviving spouse should make sure that the children are provided with full schooling through their tertiary education (university/college).  

For safety reasons the family are now relocating to the UK. With the loss of half of the family’s income, Mia’s husband Stuart can no longer guarantee that he will be able to fulfill Mia’s wish to educate their children all the way through university. In view of this, Stuart and his colleagues from the environmental development field have set up an educational trust fund for Zoe Grace, Zia Grace and Eli James. Mia's husband, Stuart, has pledged to contribute at least 30% of his salary to the fund every year, and a group of his friends and colleagues have pledged to help him raise the additional funds required to ensure that the children are educated through university.

Mia left us a precious legacy: standing up for the rights of the poor and communities, and a belief that the beautiful province of Bohol is truly a place where each person’s rights are respected and where people should be able to live in harmony with the culture, beauty and natural resources that Bohol provides. We hope that this legacy will forever inspire the community of people who fondly call and remember her as “Atty. Mia,” the very fair lady who was available any time of day or night to help out with any situation.  We are confident that her legacy will live on through her children, Zoe, Eli and Zia, who will be raised to remember their mother as a very strong, principled and fair leader, and a great role model. 

In honor of Mia, her devotion to the rights of all people, and her legacy, we invite you to contribute any amount to the trust fund to help ensure that her dream for her children becomes a reality. Your donation will go directly to the trust fund in the United Kingdom.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 27, 2017

Posted on March 27, 2017

7th March 2017

MESSAGE OF THANKS FROM THE FAMILY OF THE LATE ATTY. MIA MASCARIÑAS-GREEN

As we reach 21 days since that fateful day when our beloved Mia’s life was cut short in front of her three children in a crowded Tagbilaran City intersection, Mia’s family, husband Stuart, and children Zoe Grace, Eli James and Zia Grace would like to thank everyone who mourned and cried with us at the irrevocable loss of a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend and, to the Bohol community, a strong leader who advocated for all people facing injustice.

We say thank you to:
  • The thousands of people from the North and South Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Oceania who sent their condolences and messages of solidarity;
  • The people from all walks of life in the Bol-anon, Visayan and entire Filipino community who visited to offer comfort and support;
  • The many artists who came with poems, songs and drawings of Mia; and
  • The scientists and development workers from around the world who reached out with a helping hand.
Thank you all for so generously pouring your love, flowers, gifts, cards, emails, calls, SMS’s, Facebook messages, food, coffee and thoughts on the family.

We remain in awe of the many thousands who visited us at an always packed house and the 3,000 plus who joined Mia’s funeral and interment. It is quite simply because of this massive outpouring of love and care for Mia that we were able to keep going these last three weeks.

We are now entering a period when we need time and energy to begin to heal as a family. We now need time for Eli, Zia and Zoe, the father and mother, the sisters and the husband to come to terms with this huge loss. We continue to support the work towards getting justice for Mia. We also need to prioritize the children and family’s healing process and focus on the difficult job of providing a nurturing environment for the three children, building on the values of the family that Mia has left behind.

We remain a family of love, determined not to think or act like Mia’s brutal killers with thoughts of revenge or an “eye for an eye” or “tooth for a tooth.” But while we refuse to teach our family and children to hate its perpetrators, we strongly denounce the act of evil and hatred that took away Mia’s life.

We are heartened to note the many initiatives launched over the weekend and the actions taken by Mia’s clients and friends supporting our quest for justice and the legal process that has begun. We would like to confirm and reiterate the Mascariñas-Green family’s cooperation with the Philippine Government and police authorities that are working on this case. We keep the faith that Mia will receive the justice she deserves and that the current administration is firmly and unequivocally with us in our stand for justice.

Again, we thank each and every one of you. Salamat Kaajo Kanatong Tanan.

Posted on March 24, 2017

Posted on March 24, 2017

March 23, 2017 photo of the children.

Posted on March 24, 2017

Posted on March 24, 2017

Update from Stuart (March 22, 2017)

Hi,
It has been 5 weeks and 2 days since Mia was stolen away from us and we just want to share some love back to you all after receiving the thousands of emails and cards that keep arriving, the amazingly generous donations and the hundred or so sets of flowers that arrived at our family house in Bohol (we had to rent 2 lorries to bring the flowers alone when taking Mia from the house to the Cathedral and then to the cemetery).

We have been feeling so much love that we feel we owe it to you to tell you how we are… in slightly greener pastures than we were several weeks ago:
We have made the transition to the UK reasonably well. It has been understandably a bit bumpy for Eli, Zia and Zoe, but my parents, family and our UK neighbors have been phenomenal, and I mean really phenomenal. We have found schools for everyone and we are trying to enjoy UK weather. We have set up a small grotto for Mia and did a small ceremony here at the house for her. And we tried as best we could to celebrate the twins’ birthday last week with a few close friends.

We are still very much in the grieving process. It has been hard for Zoe in particular being in an alien place and few friends, and she remains quite angry with many false thoughts of guilt. But we are working on that. We have some amazing friends who have also lost their parents talking to her and we have a psychologist working with us to ensure that the grieving process takes it proper course and any traumas from seeing the murder are smoothened out and put in their correct place and context. We are proud of and heartened by how bravely Zoe is living up to her mother’s legacy of love and courage.

The twins seem less distressed, although they are still looking for Mummy in the early mornings (initially they’d run to the front door when it opened to see if Mummy was coming). Earlier today, Zia pointed at a photo of Mia and said “Mummy far away,” which pricked all of our ears and sent a small wave of tears.

Eli now counts to 30 and Zia can almost do her alphabet. Zoe plays hockey, swims and did her third horse riding class over the weekend as we try to get into some sort of space towards normality. Stuart has been trying to focus on the children and getting used to the beautiful countryside and cold weather. Stuart plans to try a real beer one of these days (if everyone sleeps on time!).
The education fund that Stuart’s colleagues put together has surpassed US$10,000, A HUGE thanks to everyone for all their very generous donations. We are hopeful that it will continue and are truly thankful for all the support, this will go into a UK Bare Trust (being formed at the moment thanks to friends in Fiji and Singapore).

So in conclusion, we would just like to send a huge THANK YOU to everyone. Your love, generosity and positive feelings have been felt and carried us through these last few weeks. This has been the lowest period of our lives, yet in the last five weeks that began with the worst human behavior imaginable we have also seen the BEST support from so many people, so much so that it has allowed us to maintain a positive perspective on the fate of our society and the planet for the long run.

I'll post a photo from this morning to say thanks to all the people who have really sent their love and kind thoughts.  See Zoe's (our eldest’s) poem below from last week.
Stuart, Zia, Eli, Zoe and Mia
xx
Mummy
My Mummy is in the sky
Where she lives up, up high
With the angels, she plays all day,
But in my heart she’ll always stay.
My mummy is the best of all the rest,
In the North, South, East and West,
Nobody ever can replace her,
From the land, road and the water.
I can never find a woman as kind as she.
Who always help us when we need a wee.
I really miss her now, but she’s in heaven too.
But I wont forget that she is always with me, too.
Zoe Grace Green – March, 2017

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