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PREDA NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2013

September 17, 2013 · 

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AUGUST 2013

 Outreach Activities with the Girls. The Preda girls, all recovering from trafficking and abuse had an integration party event in August, 2013 conducted by the high school students of St. Joseph College, Olongapo City. The activity was held at plenary hall of PREDA Foundation. During the activity, the children were able to socialize and enjoy friendship and interact with the students who are in the same age bracket.

The Preda girls were able to show their talents in singing and dancing. The activity made everyone happy and the children felt appreciated and important.  Their self-esteem was greatly boosted by the friendship and sharing with the students. 

It was noticed that the newly admitted clients who are usually shy and withdrawn, cheered up and were able to participate and enjoy. The student visitors also prepared dance and song numbers for the children. In addition, they encouraged the children to study hard and pursue their dreams and goals in life. It is vital for the Preda children, victims of neglect at their own home or rescued from sex bars, to feel their sense of worth by surrounding them in a positive and loving environment. The children were observed to be very inspired and happy for meeting the other students. It was also an important experience for the students who can now better understand the problems that arise from broken homes and poverty. They too can appreciate the blessing that they have had in life and give greater value to their lives.  It is good for the emotional aspect of the Preda children to have such kind of activity often, it is therapeutic, encouraging and uplifting for the children’s spirit.

Medical Mission Held. As part of its community involvement and social responsibility towards impoverished indigenous people, the PREDA Foundation with Pfizer Company and JFK-SPED school conducted a Medical Mission in one of the secluded Aeta communities in the province on August 30, 2013. Free medical check-up clinic together with a volunteer Doctor was set-up for children and parents of the said community. The Education Department of PREDA with the students of JFK-SPED presented puppet show about child abuse and malaria prevention. Informal discussion about proper hygiene was also discussed. Fun-filled activities were also facilitated. A total of 50 Aeta children and 30 mothers were helped by the activity and they received medical check-up, lunch, free medicines and vitamins.

NEW GERMAN VOLUNTEERS TO JOIN THE PREDA TEAM. On August 12, 2013 the new group of four volunteers from German partners, Tatort-Verein (in cooperation with Eine-Welt-Netz) and Misereor arrived at PREDA.  Felix Broeckling, Niels Uphoff, Patrcia Ferhentz and Esther Klein will join the work of Preda in the next 10-12 months and will have an immersion and social learning experience in all Preda projects. These young people, together with other foreign interns and volunteers currently staying at PREDA, will be participating in social activities of the foundation especially in the promotion of children’s rights. They will have the opportunity to share their talents, knowledge and time with the youth and children in the various projects. They will also go to the villages of the Indigenous People, join in work projects and stay overnight there to understand and experience village life. They will also have the chance to understand and learn the culture, language of the Filipinos. Anyone interested  to have an internship, practicum or  a volunteering experience contact predainfo@preda.org.

Action Planning Workshop for AKBAY Children and Youth Organization. The AKBAY Children and Youth Organization, the youth arm of PREDA Foundation, conducted the Facilitators and Leadership Management Training/Workshop last July 6 – 7, 2013. The said training/workshop provided an opportunity to young people to organize themselves as pro-active leaders responsive to issues and concerns that confront their own communities.

As an off-shoot of the said seminar/workshop, the youth organization conducted an Action Planning Workshop on August 09, 2013. The workshop aims to strengthen the external communication and coordination of AKBAY, to strengthen the internal affairs of AKBAY and to design a project plan that will help the organization be stable and self-sufficient.

Million People March – Olongapo Version. “Abolish All Pork” this was the slogan of the public rally of people in Olongapo City on August 26, 2013 when it had the local version of Million People March which was timely held in celebration of the National Heroes Day. Alex Corpus Hermoso, PREDA’S Programme Director organized and spearheaded the activity where Olongapenos from all walks of life participated. It was broadcast on television and posted on www.preda.org  website.

Rallies and demonstrations were simultaneously held in different key cities in the country calling for the Abolition of Priority Development Assistance Fund of Congressmen and Senators which is a major source of corruption. It also aims to promote a more transparent, accountable and good government. Mr. Hermoso in his speech told the people that they are the “government’s cctv”, that is  they are the  guardians of the  public  purse  and  ending corruption he said  depends on the vigilance of the people.

Relief Operation. Brgy. Tapuac, in Masinloc, Zambales is one of the most affected areas of Typhoon Maring and Monsoon Rain. There are about 400 families living in the place according to local leaders. On August 26, 2013 the members of AKBAY Children and Youth Organization, staffers of PREDA Foundation, German Volunteers and Civil Society Involvement of Olongapo City conducted relief operation to visit, give solidarity and food packages to at least to ease the pain of what had happened to them. The people were very happy to receive our simple gifts (relief packs composed of rice, noodles, sardines, coffee, and sugar) and appreciated our effort to go there and listen to their stories.

Housing Project @ PAPAHT Aeta Community Resumes. Despite the inclement weather in the province caused by monsoon rains, PREDA Foundation had successfully brought the construction materials at the Aeta Ecological Village Project in Sitio Nato, Brgy. San Juan, Botolan, Zambales on August 31, 2013, with the assistance of Philippine Army 24th Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Gilman Galicia. This is to build 10 more concrete houses in the area for Aeta beneficiaries of the foundation. Ten houses have been completed with outside toilets and shower room. Two classrooms schools were completed by Profood Inc., a partner of Preda Profairtrade and a multi-purpose room house was built by Preda Fair Trade. These buildings are now complete and operational.

The construction of more houses for victims of typhoons restarted on the first week of September 2013. This ecological village will be a home to many Aeta families who were displaced because of typhoon and other natural and man-made catastrophes way back in 2009.  The indigenous people organized themselves as Pinatubo Assistance for Poor Aetas Human Tribes Inc (PAPAHT) .The community will be developed by the people as an eco-village with the help of Preda and other supporters where they can cherish and nurture their culture and practice organic farming as well.

Anti-Mining Rally in Sta. Cruz. The massive extraction of minerals is destroying large bodies of water (rivers, lakes, oceans) and contaminating them with toxic chemicals. The rampant mining in Sta. Cruz, Zambales causes destruction to the lives of the people especially the farmers whose farmlands are covered with mud.   The consequence of irresponsible mining operations is resulting to more socio-economic problems in many mining areas. Communities are divided and family feuds also arise to the point of violence and summary executions undeniably happening not just in the town but in many mining areas. The irrigation system of the town is also affected.

On August 29, 2013 a mining rally was held in the town of Sta. Cruz, Zambales, participated by different people’s organizations, non-government organizations, civil society network and indigenous people. It was organized by Dr. Ben Molino, a forensic expert, joined by Mr. Alex Corpus Hermoso, the Programme Director of PREDA Foundation and other concerned citizens. This rally is just one of the many activities to support the passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill which aims to limit the mining activities in the country, to promote “needs base mining” and a big NO for foreign ownership. As an output of the activity, attendees signed the petition paper to stop all mining activities in the town and submitted it before the Office of the Mayor.

Special Tree Planting Activity @ Maporac Aeta Community. On August 31, 2013 a special tree planting activity was held in one of the organized Aeta communities in Zambales. This activity is in partnership with the students of Bunkyo University in Japan, JFK-SPED School in Subic, PREDA Foundation in Olongapo and the Maporac Aeta Community. A total of 268 seedlings and saplings were planted; 64 grafted mango saplings, 136 calamansi saplings and 68 forest tree saplings. 

Chieftain Salvador Dimain gave orientation to all the participants and he also discussed the importance of tree planting in minimizing the effect of climate change. In the afternoon, a simple cultural program was held.  Japanese students rendered two Japanese songs, the students of JFK-SPED rendered Filipino song and dance, while the community showed a native dance called “TALIPI” and an Aeta song.

Maporac Aeta Community is a home for about 200 families (1000 people) situated in Cabangan, Zambales with a total ancestral land area of 6000 hectares. Every year the Preda Fair Trade plants as many as 2000 mango sapling of 2 meters tall to restore and improve the ancestral lands of the indigenous people.  Each sapling cost one Euro (54 Pesos). DWP, the Preda’s Fairtrade partner in Germany has donated 1000 saplings for 2013.

Four Boys reintegrated to their families. Four young boys, who were rescued from sub-human conditions in jails in Metro Manila in 2012, found suffering from malnutrition, physical and psychological abuse, have made a full recovery and have received education and skills training at The Preda Home for Boys.  They were reintegrated to their families this August 2013. They were assisted by Preda with their legal problems.. In the New Dawn Center (Bukangliwayway Center) the boys had personality and character development training, learned skills, received basic education and reformed their lives. They now have strong values and look forward to a dream to make a happier life for themselves and their families.  With the help of Preda Social Workers, the boys have reconciled with their families. They will be monitored and contacted by PREDA for additional follow-up services.

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