What We've Done - Salvation Army - IT Program Bethany Children's Home - Quezon City, The Philippines

on Monday, 18 June 2012. Posted in Completed Projects, Infrastructure, Orphans, The Philippines

The Philipinnes Salvation Army - Bethany Childrens Home - Manila Be A HERO

City:  Quezon City, The Philippines
Project:  Computer Installation
Partner:  Salvation Army

Be A HERO supplied and installed computers for the children to learn computer skills.  The 29 girls who currently live at Bethany now have an opportunity to learn skills that will take them into a future with HOPE and EQUALITY.

Project Description:

Bethany Children’s Home, Project 8, Quezon City, aims to provide alternative accommodation for 60 girls in five years, aged 5-11 upon admission, who have been sexually abused and who need to be accommodated temporarily to protect them from further abuse.  Its mission is to help these girls cope with their traumatic experience and facilitate their healing and recovery.  During their temporary stay at the Home, the program staff will provide emotional and psychological support.  The staff will go through the process of healing with them. Contacts with their families will be maintained and relationship will be strengthened because it is envisioned that these girls will eventually be reunited with their families and their communities.

The Salvation Army Bethany Children’s Home commenced its operation serving the children who are victims of sexual abuse in January 2000. At present the Home has been able to serve 44 children - 24 were discharged to their families and relatives and 2 were transferred to another institution while the remaining 18 are still active cases.

What is the need the project will meet?

Child sexual abuse remains controversial, the most concealed and under reported form of sexual abuse. To date, reported cases of sexual abuse and exploitation of children are increasing.

In 1997, the reported cases of child abuse received by the Department of Social Welfare and Development were 4,394 - 53% of which were sexually abused.  The real extent of this problem is greater than what statistics show because of a number of unreported cases.

As the number of known cases of child sexual abuse causes increases, the non-government organizations and the government organizations continue to work together to address the problems associated with this social concern.  Temporary shelter for victims has been identified as one of the intervention strategies.  Bethany Children’s Home will be an additional resource to the very limited number of centers that provide temporary alternative accommodation.  For two years now, the Home has been a house of refuge for children under this category.

How was the need assessed?

Consultations and interviews with government and non-government organizations were done.  These institutions/agencies are involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of abused victims. The statistics available also indicate that the problem or the need/situation will worsen if nothing is done to resolve it.  At present, there is an inadequacy of homes/centers providing temporary care for victims of child sexual abuse cases.  The continuous increase of the sexually abused victims including commercial sexual exploitation of children reported by the Department of Social Welfare and Development resulted in the shortage of home/centers providing temporary care for sexually abused and victims of Sexual Exploitation.

Community Setting

  • Typical occupations of the Home and source of income. These are dependent minors supported by their parents/relatives.
  • Climate.  Tropical with long dry season
  • Type of environment. The target group comes from the semi-urban and urban communities. These are densely populated areas where sanitation is poor. Children are exposed to risk such as sexual abuse, drug dependence, alcoholism and diseases.Main age group the project will serve, Five to eighteen years of age

Issues Children face in The Philippines

The growing number of street children found in urban areas has long been a concern of the government.  Continuing efforts by the government and non-government agencies to provide services for both the street children and their families never seem to be enough.
Street children are the largest number of vulnerable and exploited children in many countries with ages ranging from 5-18 years old. These children ply the sidewalks in a desperate attempt to eke out a living.

In Metro Manila, where population growth, urbanization and migration continuously increase, children are often forced by circumstances to help their families earn a living. Most street children are of poor parents who have migrated from rural areas to find better job opportunities in the city, but lack of education renders them ill-equipped to earn or survive in the city.  Street children have a bleak present and an uncertain future.  Life in the street is a constant struggle to overcome the various negative elements that threaten to overtake and destroy the hope for survival.  The street child works under the heat of the sun or in the dark of the night from 6 to 16 hours, seven days a week, often in a combination of “occupations” each considered their only means to survive.

In the cities, neglected and abandoned children find themselves in the streets fending for themselves and vulnerable to the various evils of the urban jungle such as drug addiction, crimes and commercial sexual exploitation. Children who are neglected or abandoned are easy prey not only to accidents but to commercial sexual exploitation, drugs, crime and unwanted pregnancies.

Incidents of child abuse is still on the rise especially child sexual abuse. Also on the rise are reports of physical abuse and maltreatment of children.

According to the statistics, there are approximately 40,000 to 50,000 street children of all categories in Metro Manila.  Studies conducted reveal that the number of street children range from 2 to 3% of the child and adult population.  The national project on street children estimated the number of street children at over 220,000 in 65 major cities as of 1993.

There are now about 350 government and non government agencies that are responding to street children and their families.  The government has given special focus on helping street children with programs focused on health and nutrition, educational assistance, parenting sessions, livelihood and skills training, residential care, foster care and adoption. However for as long as there would be squatter colonies sprouting in urban areas and for as long as there are not enough jobs, street children will continue to dominate in the streets.

In a 1993 survey of households, some 16% of households surveyed have children below 12 years old who are left unattended with no supervising adult in the house. This translates to one in six households where children are without adult supervision.

Current efforts to fight child abuse are focused on tri-media campaign, information dissemination, raising awareness in the family, school and community of the evils of child abuse.  There is also a need for a more systematic effort at helping victims deal with the psychological trauma and scars of child abuse through proper psychological counseling programs that target not only the abused child but the family as well.

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