PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN FUND
Monday, December 18, 2017
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  • People‚Äôs Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance (PREDA) Foundation, Inc.

     
     
    PROJECT TITLE
    Rescuing Girls and Boys from Trafficking and Providing Healing, Education and Legal Assistance to Victims
     
    GOAL
    The project is designed to protect vulnerable children against trafficking for sexual abuse and commercial exploitation. In addition, the project strives to ensure that victims are healed and empowered to seek justice and rebuild their lives through a holistic approach. 
     
    LOCATION
    Central Luzon, National Capital Region, Northern and Southern Luzon
     
    DURATION
    3 years
     
    BENEFICIARIES
    Male and female child victims of human trafficking
    6,000 duty bearers consisting of parents, barangay officials, teachers, guidance counselors, police officers, and social workers
     

    BACKGROUND
    The 2016 U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report cited Metro Manila, Central and Northern Luzon as among the destination areas for trafficking. The report noted that people from low income and displaced communities are trafficked into domestic servitude, forced begging, forced labor and sex trafficking.  

    ACTIVITIES
    USAID, through the Philippine-American Fund, contributes to the operations of PREDA’s two shelter houses located in Olongapo City, a tourist hub reputed to be a hotspot for trafficking. PREDA also works with members of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children, local Social Welfare Development Offices, Violence against Women and their Children (VAWC) desks and Regional Trial Courts in rescue operations and in assisting victims through legal advice to prepare them for court hearings. The organization also reaches out to schools and tourism business owners in creating awareness and preventing trafficking.

    UPDATES AS OF MARCH 2017
    Through their therapeutic center, PREDA provided shelter to 110 children (87 percent girls) victims of trafficking and abuse. These children underwent trauma healing sessions with PREDA senior social workers. These sessions served as emotional outlets for victims, enabling them to share their experience and heal their trauma. Post-trauma healing sessions were conducted to assess the victims’ readiness to file cases against their perpetrators.

    Of this total, 35 girls were assisted by PREDA through the provision of legal advice and conduct of mock trials to prepare victims for court hearings. In-house paralegal officers also accompanied them during trials to provide counseling support and avoid re-traumatization.

    Victims housed by the therapeutic center also benefited from formal educational support. There were 54 survivors enrolled in formal and special education programs. The rest of the victims were involved in recreational activities for their eventual enrollment in alternative learning systems.

    The project’s outreach activities in schools and villages has reached 13,156 people (81 percent female). Information materials with anti-trafficking messages were distributed during awareness-raising activities. The messages were designed to build vigilance in reporting cases to the PREDA center.

    ABOUT THE GRANTEE
     
    People’s Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance (PREDA) Foundation, Inc. was established in 1974 and has been consistently working for human rights and dignity, especially of sexually abused, commercially sexually exploited and trafficked children, children in conflict with the law, and other disadvantaged sectors in society.
     
    The PREDA Therapeutic Home for Girls was established in 1996 to address the plight of such child victims. It employs professional social workers, psychotherapists, and teachers, who act as case managers, counselors, therapists, and facilitators and using, among others, emotional release therapy and positive reinforcement for healing.
     
     
    Fr. Shay Cullen, MSSC
    Founder and President, PREDA
    PREDA Center, Upper Kalaklan
    Olongapo City
    Email: shaycullen@preda.org