“We should all understand the dynamics of child sexual abuse, the grooming process, who are the offenders and why there are so-called willing victims. Each of you should know the basic tools in conducting basic CSAP training for both children and adults." - Ace Diloy, SFI Training and Advocacy Officer
Last April 8-11, participants from Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention Network (CAPIN)-Pasay City attended a four-day training hosted by SFI in partnership with Consuelo Foundation. The training focused on a more child friendly approach to encouraging disclosures and how to avoid blaming the victim. During the 4-day session, participants became familiar with slang terms that are used interchangably with a person's body parts as well as an in depth discussion about safe, confusing and unsafe touch. The 4 day session was capped off with a performance of Cracked Mirrors, SFI's longest running stage play.
Break the Silence, Stairway’s advocacy arm, continues to make inroads in the fight to stop child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation locally and internationally. On the local front, Break the Silence is training and capacitating partners from all areas around the Philippines. Presently, there are more than 30 Break the Silence partners reaching out to schools, government partners and communities with their advocacy and training to end child sexual abuse and exploitation.
On the international front, news from partners in India announced that a special court for speedy trial of Child Sexual Abuse cases has been set up in Mumbai per the new law on Protection of Children from Sexual Offecnes. Last March 19-26, Stairway's executive director, Lars Jorgensen, and senior advocacy officer, Nancy Agaid, visited Nepal to formalize collaboration with Leger Foundation from Canada to start up a Break the Silence campaign in Nepal. And more recently, SFI has collaborated with another major partner, Kindernothilfe, to conduct and assist in the development and delivery of a child protection policy capacity building program for the KNH regional trainer in Ethiopia. Because of this initiative, Stairway’s animation Daughter is projected to be shown to several NGOs based in Asia, Africa and Latin America through the KNH international network. One of Stairway’s advocacy and training officer, Ace Diloy, has also been tapped to serve both as a Philippine trainer, as well as an Asia Regional Trainer (to serve North India, Pakistan as well as in Ethiopia as a co-regional trainer capacity).
Residents from Elsie Gaches Village, a government facility catering to mentally challenged youth, made their annual trip to Stairway (now going on 21 years). The childlren enjoyed two weeks of beach, play and creative activities facilitated by the Stairway peer motivators.
Rap music is never far from our ears here in Stairway where the children are always beating out some rap tune by local Filipino rap band Gloc9 or by beating out some homegrown rap created by Kuya Johnny, one of Stairway's housefathers. So, it was no surprise when Marjon, a former resident of Stairway, showed up after 11 years, that he would also be rapping--but as a career!!!!
In late March, Mangyan students from Baclayan, Stairway scholars from San Antonio Island, and the Stairway kids presented an impressive photo-voice exhibit about their lives and their communities. The exhibit called Look Out Loud is the brain child of Meghan Harris, a former Stairway volunteer, and Maggie Cissel. The objective of the Look Out Loud project is to give voice to those who have no voice through photography and storytelling. Maggie and Meghan have travelled with the Look Out Loud project to India, the Philippines and presently Guatemala.
Over the past 2 months during their stay in Stairway, they have worked with 30 participants and collected more than 5,000 photographs! Please check out their blog and Facebook page.
LOOK OUT LOUD Blog: http://www.lookoutloudproject.com/index.html
LOOK OUT LOUD FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/LookOutLoud?fref=ts
Soaring summer temperatures rolled in the Easter holidays in late March. Stairway celebrated with a fun Easter egg hunt for the Stairway children and children from the Smokey Mountain Kaibigan Singers. Lead by virtuoso choir leader, Jun Mapa, the Smokey Mountain Singers capped off the Easter week with a splendid concert. Click to watch the concert.
No sooner than the Youth for Change camps were over did Stairway children, staff and volunteers headed for the foothills of Mount Malasimbo for three fun filled days of music, art and culture at the 3rd annual Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival. Renowned as the first international music and arts festival of its caliber in the Asia-Pacific, this year, the legendary Jimmy Cliff and the soulful Joss Stone headlined the festival. It was a tremendous experience!
Thank you to the D’Aboville Family for inviting the Stairway kids and staff to attend.
Today was mainly focused on Children's Rights. From the activity the day before, it was clear that our SAS group knew nothing about these rights. We watched videos, beginning with a young speaker who went to the UN Conference to speak out against the way that the governments and corporations of the world seemed to have no regard for their environment in their quest for expansion. We listened to one of the Stairway kids, Daniel give us a testimony of his life story. We watched Stairway's very own animations that gave us a sense of the kinds of ways that people exploit children. The combination of learning of the dilemmas that the street kids face and the Children's Rights was emotionally heavy. In the night, we watched the play that Stairway uses to educate the people who come, and then we played the cups game as a large group. It was a relieving end to a tiring day. Today was the day that we really started to bond with the kids. We would spend all our free time playing games and having fun together.
This poem is about one moment when we were all sitting on a stage playing the cups game together.
Not only were the Lego blocks a huge success with the Stairway kids, they were also a wonderful way to engage students in discussion about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Throughout the months of February and March, we welcomed students from international schools in Manila, Singapore, Korea and Cairo. Students from Korea had the added benefit of spending a few days up at the Stairway farm in Baclayan before they came to the Stairway campus. During their stay in Baclayan, the students interacted with Mangyan students, learned about Mangyan culture, planted trees and learned to make Coco Jam.