Sworn to educate

Nan Santiago and Junior Flores take oath as ALLICE members before Colma Vice and longtime ALLICE Kumare Joanne del Rosario.
ALLICE Kumares welcome new colleagues.

DALY CITY, Calif. – Boosting their team capacity, ALLICE Alliance for Community Empowerment has welcomed three health advocates known for their dedication to service.

Before Colma Vice Mayor and longtime ALLICE member Joanne del Rosario Nan Santiago, Ofie Albrecht and Junior Flores swore in as Kumare and Kumpare, as the members of the all-volunteer nonprofit call themselves.   Albrecht was sworn in absentia at a recent meeting at the Holy Child & St. Martin Episcopal Church here.

Seasoned professionals, their combined work addresses the needs of the entire family: Santiago is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist  at Kaiser Child Psychiatry where she has worked for 18 of her 25 years as a clinician.  Anastacio “Junior” Flores rose through the ranks of Asian American Recovery Services to his current post as Program Director for San Mateo County Treatment and Prevention Services.  Until her recent retirement, Ofie Albrecht coordinated the Filipino Peer Counseling Program of Peninsula Family Service in San Mateo following a career in sales and banking.

“We are privileged to have the expertise and passion of our new Kumares and Kumpare,” ALLICE 2018 president Nellie Hizon said.  “They enrich our team in various ways with their understanding of the dynamics of healthy and abusive interaction and connection to populations we aim to reach.”

Santiago, a U.C. Berkeley Psychology alum who earned her master’s in Clinical Psychology at SF State, has been co-facilitating intensive in-service training to deepen team members’ understanding of intimate partner and family violence.  Her calling throughout her career “has been about making a difference for children and families,” she said.

Outside of work, Nan enjoys practicing yoga, meditation and mindfulness. Recently, she went to Santa Fe New Mexico for a one week meditation retreat.

Last year SF State grad Flores supported ALLICE’s 13th annual Free from Violence presentation/resource fair by donating refreshments and volunteers from AARS-Healthright 360.  This year the husband and father to a teen son and toddler daughter joined the team to fulfill his mission to “provide support to those who are facing challenges and become their better selves.”

Albrecht had been a regular exhibitor at ALLICE events and was able to observe and learn about the issue of abuse as well as the organization itself.  Now that she has retired, she continues to give her time to ALLICE because of its “commitment to helping eradicate domestic violence.”  She said she was drawn to members’ “professionalism and passion.”   

Flores and Albrecht sit on the Resource Provider committee with the latter as deputy chair.  Santiago serves on the training committee.

All three were born in the Philippines and came to the United States at different stages of their lives.  Today they are leaders of a movement launched in 2003 to educate, empower and engage Filipinos to stop relationship abuse by sharing resources.

ALLICE reaches out to the community by staging free public events purely on donations.  In the spring, they focus on elder care and elder abuse prevention.  In the fall they promote healthy intimate partnerships. 

This year they concentrated on training and team-building.   

“With new members aboard and some members going on leave, we’ve turned our efforts inward to ensure we have full understanding of our mission and how to achieve our goal,” said founding president Bettina Santos Yap.  “Our three intensive trainings to date have refreshed us for our upcoming event on October 12.  As always, it’s a free and open-to-the-public gathering thanks to our allies.  We invite caring members of the community to save the date and celebrate our alliance.”

For more information on ALLICE 14th annual Free from Violence, visit www.allicekumares.com.

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PNews Editor at Large Cherie M. Querol Moreno founded and directs ALLICE.

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