Even before the time of crisis, children need protection and support from their parents and community. Without these building blocks, their development as adults would be difficult. For children who are abused or sexually exploited, the sense of belonging to a household or a community is even more difficult. Having this in mind, Terre des Hommes’ partners in the Philippines had created a system in place and formed partnerships to support these vulnerable children.
Fellowship for Organizing Endeavors, Inc. (FORGE) partnered with local government units of Barangay Banilad in Cebu to strengthen child rights advocacy. As a supporter of Terre des Hommes’ Community-Based Alternative Care project, FORGE has been encouraging selected families in Barangay Banilad to apply for a foster care license with the Department of Social Welfare and Development. With already eight families registered, these gives an opportunity for children who are at high-risks or former victims of sexual abuse and exploitation to have a home where they can feel safe and recover from their painful experiences.
FORGE and Terre des Hommes are working tirelessly through the pandemic to provide support to vulnerable children in the Philippines. Courtesy calls and frequent contact with government officials are important during the COVID-19 pandemic and reminding them about the needed actions and responsibilities for children through policies and councils such as the Foster Care Act of 2012 and the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children.