US gov’t service retiree joins drive against domestic abuse
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO – Four years after dipping into family violence prevention advocacy, Lydia Caragan Pomposo officially became a “Kumare,” as every sworn female member of the abuse prevention organization ALLICE Alliance for Community Empowerment calls herself.
This week the Pangasinan-born, California-raised daughter of a WWII veteran took her oath of commitment to help prevent domestic abuse and promote healthy relationships, before ALLICE 2023 co-president Flor Nicolas, Mayor of South San Francisco.
It was Nicolas, in fact, who as the newest Kumare in 2019 had reached out to her fellow South San Francisco resident Pomposo to support that year’s traditional ALLICE Free from Violence presentation and resource fair in October, marked throughout the US as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Lydia and husband, Ed Pomposo, a US Air Force veteran, co-sponsored the event with a generous donation. Held at the City Hall of Daly City, it turned out to be the last ALLICE in-person gathering before the pandemic hit the country, effectively pressing pause on life as we knew it.
ALLICE pivoted, like most altruist entities, to virtual engagement. Lydia, grandmother to five by her four children, hunkered down but kept the intimate partner and family violence prevention team in her sights. Along with Nicolas, Kumare Elsa Agasid, a family nurse practitioner and also an SSF resident, kept her looped in on ALLICE activities.
When COVID became manageable in 2022, Pomposo resumed her ministries at Mater Dolorosa Church and Second Harvest Food Bank. In September she raised her service to her town by joining its Cultural Arts Commission and Age-Friendly Task Force.
This year ALLICE invited Lydia to become a full-fledged Kumare. Retired from 40 years with the US Department of Veterans Affairs handling various sections, she was Women Veterans Coordinator at the Oakland Regional Office, interviewing claimants for PTSD and other medical issues, gaining perspective on the complex situations women similarly face in IP/FV.
In March, Women’s History Month, she applauded ALLICE’s presentation of the key facts to know about IP/FV at the SSF City Council meeting. She has been participating in team virtual meetings and community fairs, handing out their free A-List or resource directories, while waiting to be officially sworn in at the next team in-person meeting.
That opportunity opened on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at a meeting-turned-mini reunion at Colma Town Hall hosted by Colma Mayor Joanne del Rosario. Co-presidents Nicolas and Junior Flores, Kumares Agasid, Edna Murray, Nan Santiago, secretary Malou Aclan and on zoom by vice president Jennifer Jimenez Wong, founding president Bettina Santos Yap and grants manager Nellie Hizon.
“I believe in the ALLICE mission to promote healthy relationships through education,” said Pomposo. “I learn much about the issue of intimate partner and family abuse just by attending meetings. I’d like to learn more while knowing the members better as we fulfill our mission.”
2023 co-president Junior Flores, program director of Asian American Recovery Services – Healthright 360 welcomed his new colleague.
“I’m excited to have Lydia on the team. She sets the example for active involvement in the community and being a loving wife, mother and grandmother.”
Pomposo will represent the team at the Sept. 27 SSF City Council meeting where Flores will accept the city’s proclamation of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The team will be on hand again to accept the proclamation on Oct. 11 from the Town of Colma.
On October 24, they will join Kumares & Kumpares past and present in celebrating their 20th anniversary with allies who have been sharing their resources to prevent intimate partner and family abuse through free community education. They will reunite with abuse survivors who have shared their testimonies to enlighten about the dynamics of abusive behavior. While every ALLICE education event is free and open to the public, the anniversary gala is a private gathering.
For more information visit www.allicekumares.com