The People’s Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance (PREDA) Foundation Inc.(www.preda.org) is an active social development organization today with 63 professional Filipino employees implementing projects that saves children from sexual abusers, and from life in the brothels and sex bars frequented by Filipino men and foreigners of all nationalities. Its saves children from jails and detention centers and gives them a new life of dignity and self-esteem. It advocates for human rights and educates the communities.Preda has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and has received the German and Italian Human Rights awards and is a international recognized human rights and child rights advocacy organizations of peace and
Human dignityThe Foundation was established in 1974 in Olongapo City .
by Father Shay Cullen an Irish member of The Missionary Society of St.Columban. The work of Preda Foundation expanded to help the child victims of the sex trade and those trafficked women and children who were being exploited in the sex business that flourished in Olongapo City beside the huge U.S. Naval Base on Subic Bay.Father Shay founded a private Fair Trade organization based on ethical trading rules and Fair Trade criteria to help indigenous, small farmers and alleviate poverty and reduce the number of impoverished villages and stop children being trafficked in sex slavery. The sale of the mangos products and other dried fruits helps support with counterpart funds the works of Preda.
Preda believes with many advocates of human rights and Fair Trade supporters that a commitment to Fair Trade also carries the obligation to help the victims of human rights violations, trafficking and commercially sexually exploited children.
THE THERAPUTIC RESCUE AND HEALING HOME FOR ABUSED CHILDREN.
Preda offered protection and therapeutic homes and services for the child victims and opened a therapeutic community for their recovery and return to childhood for them.
Hundreds of children have been rescued from sex bars and clubs and abusers of all kinds including pedophiles, parents and relatives. They experience a new life of dignity in a beautiful residential home on the forested hills of Subic, the next town outside Olongapo.
There are as many an average of 36 girls victims’ of sexual abuse and exploitation 8 to 17 years-old rescued from the sex industry, bars ,clubs, cyber-sex dens where they were commercially exploited.
They receive full happier life style with emotional release therapy and education and many other learning and human development activities by a professional staff of Social workers and facilitators .
There an active almost daily public advocacy program in the towns’ villages, colleges and schools by Preda public speakers and human rights advocacy teams. They educate the public and the government official’s clergy, teachers parents and students in elementary and high school and college on children’s rights and dignity.
A new awareness and reporting system has been activated using a hot phone line alerts Preda to a child in need and Preda rescue team is sent to rescue the child with the help of the government social worker and police if needed.
They are fully protected at the Preda home for girls. There abusers are brought to justice when possible by the Preda legal team. The children recover and experience a healing childhood safe from their abusers.
They are empowered and seek justice. They come into an affirming, supporting, caring community where they feel respect and wanted and discover their self-esteem and value and experience the security and relief that as absent in there life as victims.
They have counseling, therapy, vocational training, formal education and family and values formation. They are growing in maturity and responsibility through affirmation and support of the professional Filipino staff and are regaining self-esteem and personal dignity. These projects are partly funded by Fair Trade Sales and supplemented by donations from charitable donors and organizations.
Releasing the child prisoners
Preda began a home for victims of human rights violations during Martial law giving sanctuary and protection to youth and children.
Today the Preda rescue team gets them out of jails and brings them to a new life of dignity. The service provides a therapeutic home for youth and children in jails and prisons and so called Bahay Pagasa cells where they suffer abuse.
While new laws passed in 2006 now protect children younger that 15 older one still endue hardship behind bars. Most have no serious crime. They are held for weeks or months awaiting a hearing before the prosecutor or the court. Some have been illegally arrested. Most are not convicted and all are awaiting justice in conditions contradictory to human dignity and the rights of the child. Some were in danger of summary execution by vigilante death squads when they were on the streets.
Today Preda social workers continue this important work of defending human rights and dignity of the minors by taking legal action and releasing youth and children in conflict with the law from prisons and government youth detention centers. Through Preda legal action they are transferred to the Preda boys home where they find a new sense of values and human dignity without punishment in a free open environment and a dedicated staff.
Here they are encouraged to be act on free choice and choose a new life of dignity. There are as many as 90 Percent of the boys stay of the own free choice. The community workers and therapists give encouragement and inspiration for them to begin a new life and go to school and learn life skills.
Preda campaigns for justice and human rights and against corruption to protect these youths. Preda uses media and lobbying and seminars and workshops to educate and campaign for peace and an end to a culture of impunity and lawlessness.
In the past and present many young people and social activists, priests and pastors and human rights workers and journalist have been arrested, tortured and killed by secret execution squads or hired assassins because of open fearless speech demands for social change and demonstrations against corruption.
The death squads are still active and are allegedly supported by some wayward city mayors, military and police. The work of protecting the minors by developing public awareness saves lives of many and it is changing the system so that there is growing respect for the rights of children in conflict with the law. In the Preda therapeutic community the minors learn spiritual and human values, skills and get an education for a better life.
Preda gives daily child rights seminars and workshops in schools, towns and villages by teams of Preda community educators and public speakers. Supported with visual aids, pamphlets comics the education on human rights is changing the society, helping establish Committees on Child Protection and bringing officials and citizens to a higher level of awareness about the rights of women and children. This has brought about more reporting of cases of child abuse and help and protection and therapy for the victims.