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Philippine News Digest 57

July 14, 2002 · 

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Contents:

  • Work with children receives international recognition
  • Theater group returns from successful European tour
  • Call to help women and kids in secret cells

Work with children receives international recognition

An international award of achievement was presented to Fr. Shay Cullen July 10 in the Lucerne Culture and Congress Center by the Catholic development organization Caritas Switzerland in recognition of PREDA’s work in helping abused children, providing legal assistance and jailing their abusers and rescuing children from subhuman condition in jails in the Philippines. In his acceptance speech, Fr. Cullen said that ÔÇťabove all it (the award) is a recognition that sexually exploited and abused children are getting the attention and justice they deserve. They are the real heroes, these are the children and youth who have struggled so hard to overcome the hardship of poverty, oppression and abuse. These are the youth who have the courage to speak out the truth and testify against their abusers”.

Theater group returns from successful European tour

The PREDA Advocacy Theater group returned to the Philippines July 4 after a successful tour in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Ireland with more than thirty performances in schools, churches and other public gatherings. The PREDA Foundation employs theater as part of the recovery program for the abused, giving the actors a chance to release their pent up emotions but with encouragement and support. It is also a potent advocacy tool in raising the awareness of people on social issues such as child abuse and human trafficking. Civic organizations Caritas in Switzerland, SETEM in Spain, and Barnardos in Ireland and Dritte Welt Partners in Germany sponsored the tour.

Call to help women and kids in secret cells

Swedish volunteers working with PREDA Foundation and church workers discovered secret jail cells where mentally disturbed women and homeless children are regularly imprisoned, beaten and deprived of food. The Olongapo Center for Assistance, Rehabilitation and Empowerment (OCARE) is a drop-in shelter operated by the Olongapo City government which is one of the programs it used to win the Most Child Friendly Award handed by the Philippine government. Fr. Shay Cullen of the PREDA Foundation appeals to everyone to write letters of concern to the Philippine President and her cabinet to demand the shutdown of the center and to ensure that the city is barred from having any such center. Source: Sunday World, 29 June 2003.

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