National Children's Month: a celebration of Filipino children

Jason, 10, playing at the beach.November 2012

National Children's Month is celebrated every October here in the Philippines.  Mandated by Presidential Proclamation 267, it is a time to recognize the value of Filipino Children as the most valuable assets in the society.  Observed by Government and Non-Government agaencies around the Philippines,  the month-long celebration is also a campaign to end violence against children and to promote their physical, emotional, moral, spiritual and intellectual well-being. 

Stairway celebrated the month-long event with a series of Children's Rights and Child Sexual Abuse Prevention workshops for Stairway scholars and their parents.  A team went up to Manila to create Child Friendly Spaces in ten police precincts around Metro Manila.  In Stairway, the children enjoyed many different activites through out the month of October from learning about foreign countries to making clay ovens. 

At the end of the month, we celebrated with an impressive display of music, poetry, dance, theatre, drawings and sculpture.  The children were given awards of encouragement followed by games and lasagna!

“Mankind owes to the child the best it has to give.” -Anonymous

Click to view images

Opening of new children's quarters kick-start Children's Month celebration

November 2012

With children, staff, volunteers, and friends in attendance, Stairway kick-started National Children's Month, last September, with a ribbon cutting ceremony of the new children's quarters.  The new structure extends from the hillside overlooking the mountains. With terraces on each level, the four-story building is complete with a classroom, computer room, a library and the children's sleeping quarters. 

The old children's quarters, will be converted into a workhsop space for livelihood projects such as sewing and jewelry making.

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I am a Child: A Storybook About Children's Rights

Painting by Mark GalangNovember 2012

November 20th is Universal Children's Day.  It marks the day on which the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.  In 2000, world leaders outlined the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which aim to reduce extreme poverty, halt the spread of HIV/AIDS and provide universal primary education by 2015. 

I am a Child is the latest creative advocacy initiative produced by Stairway Foundation in recognition of Universal Children's Day.  Beautifully illustrated with vibrant paintings, that were created by children in Stairway's programs, I am a Child perfectly captures the essence, vitality and beauty of children.  I am a Child will surely delight children and adults alike.

Click here to purchase your copy.

 Your purchase of I am a Child will help to sustain Stairway's programs and services.

 

SFI kids participate in annual Puerto Galera regatta

November 2012

The weekly sailing activity is a favorite among the Stairway children.  One can literally see the transformation taking place in some of them. For one child, who was terribly afraid of the water, he conquered his fear and is now one of the best in handling a dinghy in the group!

Last Nov. 1-2, the Puerto Galera Yacht Club (PYGC) held its annual All Souls Regatta.  While the main regatta was going on, children from the PGYC Sail Training Program and Stairway children were having their own fun on the water sailing new Lawins and Optimists. 

In existence for 10 years, the PGYC Sail Training Program has taught over 300 children to sail.

Click to view images.

Further reading:  Building confidence through Sailing

Child Friendly Spaces add a ray of hope in Manila police stations

November 2012

Stairway’s commitment to train Philippine National Police on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention was the start of a journey that would eventually lead to the creation of Child Friendly Spaces in 10 stations across Manila. 

As the children prepared for the annual Children’s Month celebration, three members of Stairway staff also prepared for their trip to Manila, for the installation of Child Friendly Spaces in 10 police stations.  They were well aware from past experience that preparation was not exclusive to collating materials and purchasing the necessary tools; the team also needed time to prepare emotionally and physically for their 10-day assignment.  For Birgit, a Stairway Board Member and an international volunteer for over 11 years, this journey would encompass a different meaning to Joemar, the House Father of the Residential Program and also to Jhao, a former street child and strong advocate for Children’s Rights.  Click to view images.

Former Stairway Kid returns to Stairway to give back

November 2012

Philip Mondragon, is a handsome 19 year old with wavy hair, a pleasant smile and a penchant for football.  A former street child who suffered many hardships, Philip came to Stairway to be treated for tuberculosis in 2007.  Now in great health, Philip has returned to Stairway to give back.

Seated in a circle on the stage, the Stairway children listen intently as Philip recounts his experiences of growing up in the streets:  “I was separated from my mom when I was very young.  I lived with my father.  When my father passed away I lived with my Uncle who had nine children.

Stairway strengthens ties with PNPA

Lars C. Jorgensen, Executive Director, SFI with General Chuck Guinto, PNPANovember 2012

Last September, in an elaborate ceremony, Lars C. Jorgensen, Executive Director of SFI, and General Chuck Guinto of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) signed an Agreement of Collaboration to ensure that all graduating cadets from the Academy will have undergone training in Children’s Rights and Child Sexual Abuse Prevention. 

Stairway has worked many years with children who used to live on the streets, and in the process, we have learned (through the children’s testimonies) that the law enforcement needs intense improvement in its dealings with street children. In light of this, SFI deemed it important to try and extend our advocacy work into the ranks of the Philippine National Police (PNP).  Click to view images

Cyber-Crime Prevention Act of 2012 is now law

September 2012

“The Philippine government has recently signed into law Republic act 10175 or the cyber-crime prevention act of 2012. Download a copy of the law and study its provisions which can be useful for the protection of children!”

http://www.gov.ph/2012/09/12/republic-act-no-10175/

Other links of interest on this website:

A Good Boy, a Story of Pedophilia

Red Leaves Falling, a Story of Child Sex Trafficking

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention workshops and trainings

For more information please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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