A Palauan citizen who was well-known for her remarkable work of helping beleaguered children and families subject to abuse is being remembered by the community. Her work inspired so many people to help her in her cause.
Rebecca Koshiba, children’s rights advocate, passed away on Saturday October, 5, 2019. Many people who knew her saw her as a hero, she was well known for helping people but most especially they knew her for helping children. She also helped children who were facing all kinds of abuse and went out of her way to put these kids in a safe home, provide them food, give them clothes and constantly checked to see how they’re progressing.
She was remembered for being the person that one could call anytime for help.
Among the people that she inspired with her selfless work is Koror State Legislator Vierra Toribiong.
“If I could, I would half-mast the flag for her,” Legislator Toribiong said, adding that he was inspired by her passion to do things for the children.
As Palauans our pride and that feeling that we have to keep our business to ourselves is very strong in us for it is how we people are and were raised on, the legislator said, phrasing it in Palauan as “diak a molecholt a selkelem el mo er a buai.”
He also recalled a story when Koshiba helped a child who was abused by a family that adopted her/him. Koshiba went to great extent of asking her family to provide a temporary home for the child until he/she found a better place to live in.
When her work became well-known, people from the communities started to seek her help including organizations like the Family Protection Act (FPA) whom she went with from state to state raising awareness about these situations and to tell these kids to voice out for help.
Koror State Legislature Speaker Alan Marbou also called her a “hero”, adding that the connections she made with the children really pushed her to find the best for them.
She sought all help, pulled many strings and took money out of her own pocket to make sure she can give these kids the best. She didn’t get an award or seek praise for what she did, Speaker Marbou said.
Pediatrician Dr. Yuriko Becheserrak also said that “when children get admitted to the hospital in instances of abuse, they would call Rebecca.”
Becheserrak recalled that she first learned about Koshiba when she moved back to Palau and started working at her job dealing with kids under many kinds of abuse. She remembered her working with Victim of Crime Association (VOCA).
“When receiving cases like that (VOCA) and it would seem most likely to involve police, they would call Rebecca because the vulnerability and the fear of child being overwhelmed in those situations is often very scary and lonely for them,” Becheserrak.
She helped so many kids and their families that today is such a different life for these kids knowing that one time when life was really hard for them Rebecca was there and they were okay, Dr. Becheserrak said. (Kerdeu Uong)