The AV Gedang Foundation on Thursday (January 24, 2019) conducted its first Child Protection Seminar with Grades 5 and 6 students in Puypuy Elementary School in Bay, Laguna.
AV Gedang Foundation’s Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator and Social Worker Vicky Dineros and volunteer employees oriented the students on how to determine safe and unsafe touches and signs of being sexually abused.
The Foundation taught the students on how to assertively say ‘NO!’ to perpetrators as well as on how to report such incidents to people they trust to avoid further abuse.
According to a report by the Center for Women’s Resources, in the Philippines, a child or woman is raped every minute. Another study conducted in 2015 by the Council for the Welfare of Children and UNICEF reveals that within the country, one out of five children below 18 years old have experienced sexual violence while growing up.
Vicky says that it is really important to teach children on how they may be able to protect themselves from such abuses. “Kailangan ng mga bata na malaman kung paano sila makakaiwas sa karahasan. Kung paano nila mapro-protektahan ang kanilang mga sarili at kung sino-sino ang mga taong maaari nilang lapitan kung sila ay makakaranas ng mga pang-aabuso.”
This is echoed by Puypuy Elementary School Principal Ma. Luz G. Lumitao: “Bilang bahagi ito ng child protection policy; mas napakahalaga na matutunan, lalo na ng mga bata ang mga maseselang bagay, at kung papaano ang gagawin nila upang makaiwas sa anumang aksidente o kapahamakan.”
Vicky went on to remind the students that “it is never alright for someone to touch your private body parts except to keep you clean and healthy.”
Body Shaming and Anger Management
Meanwhile, BiOWiSH’s Pollutions Control Officer and volunteer Deborah Simsuangco talked about body shaming- its negative impacts and why children should avoid such derogative manners. Body shaming is the practice of making fun of a person’s body size, color, or appearance to humiliate another.
“Body shaming is emotionally abusive…shaming and humiliation causes fear in children. This fear does not go away when they grow up. It becomes a barrier for a healthy emotional life and is difficult to eradicate,” says Deborah.
Vicky also gave tips on how students may control their anger such as how to keep calm by taking deep breaths, counting backwards, thinking of good things or talking to one’s self.
Furthermore, Vicky said that the Foundation plans to conduct the same seminar to other communities which the Foundation actively support such as the Dupax Reading and Learning Center in Quezon City, Pilipog Elementary School in Cordova (Cebu), and the Masaya Elementary School also in Bay, Laguna.