Children are considered the most vulnerable entities of the community. They rely so much on their parents’ nurturing and support to survive. Being the future of this country, they deserve all the care and attention to be able to grow as better individuals. It is ironic however that during their tender ages they already experience injustice in the hands of some oppressors. Regrettably, sometimes even in the hands of the very people who are supposed to look after their well being. These cases that children face are as horrid as incest, rape, child abuse and maltreatment, and even homicide. As helpless as they are, someone or something should stand in their defense against unwarranted people and situations. Providentially, one of the SAC’s advocacies is focused on women and children. The services that organization primarily renders are Medico-Legal, Free Legal Services, Educational Assistance, Food Assistance, Livelihood Assistance to family of the victims, Referral for Protective Custody, Psycho-social care, Psychological assessment and evaluation, Shelter Service Augmentation and Home visit/counseling.
Currently the SAC sustains and strengthens networks in 6 areas in Albay towards the prevention and management of child abuse incidence in the area. The organization of a community-based group called Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention Units (CAPIU) has established a systematic, coordinative and integrated delivery of service to child abuse survivors and developed an effective case management approach in handling such cases and their prevention. Quarterly meetings are conducted to be informed with the updates of pending and served cases. Further discussed are means to strengthen the network and assessment of activities conducted. Series of trainings have been accomplished to enhance the knowledge and skills of social workers and other members on rehabilitation of child abuse victims, handling of children in conflict with the law (CICL), and to provide Rest & Recreation as well as team building to strengthen working relationships and retain vigor in the workplace. Part of these activities is also discussions of the challenges they face as they implement the advocacies, and the strategies to counter these obstacles to better carry out the mission.
In addition, the following are the activities that the CAPIU has successfully carried out: LCE (Local Chief Executive/SB (Sanguniang Bayan) Orientation to institutionalize the CAPIU in Malinao, CAPIU General Assembly, CAPIU Lakbay Aral, Trainings on Child Protection Specialist, BCPC Follow-up Sessions, Celebration of the National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (NAWWPCSAE), Forum on Women’s Rights and Issues, Project Assessment and Planning using SWOT, Training on Protective Behavior for Community Leaders and Parents, and Organization (Project Management).
Another advocacy of the program is on sustaining the Youth Advocates in the diocese through theater advocacy and value formation. Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) organizing was also implemented and a radio program on child abuse prevention and management was launched to increase advocacy coverage and awareness on child abuse issues to the listening public. The focus of this is the identified barangays with high incidence of abuse.