Ace Diloy is one of Stairway’s trainers in our Break the Silence program for the prevention of child sexual abuse and exploitation. His work often takes him on the road around the Philippines or to some far-flung place in the world. It can be stressful at times, but Ace manages to cope through his love of photography. Read what he has to say.
Remnants of last week’s Halloween festivities can still be seen around Stairway. We celebrated the annual event with our traditional Halloween Haunt. Staff and volunteers, dressed as every imaginable ghost and ghoul, lurked in the darkest recesses around Stairway and waited for the children. Armed with just a flashlight, a map and a thirst for a thrill, the children sought out the different scary haunts and solved the many fun challenges.
Thank you Stairway staff, children, volunteers and friends for a haunting success!
Known as the City of Flowers, Zamboanga City was attacked last September 9, by the Mindinao National Liberation Front (MNLF), which forced thousands of families to flee their homes. SFI sent funds to our BTS partners in Zamboanga City to assist in relief operations. The funds will help to provide psychosocial activities to 50,000 children affected by the crisis and to help rebuild homes for families that were destroyed during the standoff.
Help is still needed. We need your contributions. Please click here to help
On an average day one would find 20 to 40 children spread over 3 or 4 of the 5 classrooms at the elementary school in Baclayan. Even during recess, the buildings seemed void of the kind of life and energy that characterizes any healthy functioning elementary school. There were plenty of school age children in the community, but very few of them attended school on a regular basis. This was back in 2011. Today, the same buildings and classrooms ooze with energy and happiness from somewhere between 150 to almost 200 children. Most of them attend class every day, except when weather conditions are too hostile.
In their 21st year of fund raising in support of Stairway's programs and services, students from Roekilde Gymnasium broke yet another fund raising record thus stepping up the challenge for next year’s students.
In addition, SFI's latest partner, Roedovre Gymnasium in Copenhagen, has adopted SFI to support in their fund raising efforts.
Thank you, Roekilde and Roedovre!
The 4Ps or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is the Philippine Government’s largest anti-poverty program. Patterned after the conditional cash transfer scheme implemented in other developing countries, the Pantawid Pamilya provides cash grants to beneficiaries provided that they comply with the set of conditions required by the program, such as attending family development sessions or FDS. The FDS cover a range of topics, which also includes children’s rights.
Through our partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the FDS will now include CSAP. This represents a significant breakthrough in Stairway’s advocacy, as the CSAP FDS sessions are derived from Stairway’s CSAP sessions, and will have the potential to reach 4Million households.
Rekindling existing partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), more than 50 staff from its regional offices attended a two and a half days of training on child sexual abuse prevention (CSAP) facilitated by Stairway Foundation, Inc. last September 9-13.
Funding partner, Kindernothilfe (KNH) has tapped SFI to train its partners in the Asian region on child protection policy development. The project aims to empower organizations working directly and indirectly with children to make their organizations “child-safe” by formulating child protection policies, and implementing the necessary systems to ensure the safety and well-being of children. The entire training project will run until 2015 for all of Asia, which will include the Philippines, India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The KNH Child Protection Policy project for partners falls totally in line with Stairway’s advocacy of introducing the issue of child sexual abuse in the agenda of different stakeholders.
In Baclayan, heavy rains and muddy roads can pose a challenge for children trying to go to school. Last May, Stairway distributed new slippers and raincoats to students in the Baclayan Mangyan School. The slippers and raincoats not only can keep the kids clean and dry for school, but it makes it easier for them to want to go to school during rainy days.
It is a common practice for street children to take on an alias while surviving in the streets. In Stairway, we have encountered several children, who gave us a false name upon intake, but it usually doesn't take long for them to feel secure enough to reveal their true identities. This is the time that the social worker can start the process to obtain a birth certificate and in some cases find some of the child's relatives. The work of locating long lost relatives cannot be done by one social worker alone. It requires a concerted effort by various social welfare and development offices, along with a bit of luck.
In the case of Remark, alias Renan, no known address was on record, but going to the place where he was born, the community leader, noticed Remark's distinctive eyes, and knew where to locate a paternal aunt. The paternal aunt led Remark to his father, whom he had not seen in nine years. Remark also obtained the number of his eldest sister, from whom the social worker got the number of Remark's mother.
Last week, Remark boarded a plane going to Mindanao, where he was reunited with his mother, whom he has not seen in 13 years! Presently, he is continuing his education and is helping his mother to pack candies.
Schools should be the second home for our children. However, as long as abuse is still happening in many educational institutions that ideal will not come to fruition.
With the intent to create a more child friendly learning environment, the Department of Education (Dep Ed) recently came up with an initiative to mandate schools all around the nation to develop and implement Child Protection Policies (CPP). To promote the idea and to assist in the development of the CPP, DepEd has requested support from NGOs with experience in child protection.