World Vision celebrates 60 years, launches advocacy campaign to stop sexual abuse of children in the Philippines

Christian child-focused organization World Vision celebrated its 60th year in the Philippines last March 23 with the theme “Caring for Children, Building Sustainable Communities.”

Quezon City - Christian child-focused organization World Vision celebrated its 60th year in the Philippines last March 23 with the theme “Caring for Children, Building Sustainable Communities.”

 

Led by acting National Director Rommel V. Fuerte and Board of Trustees Chairperson Atty. Liwayway Vinzons-Chato, World Vision paid tribute to its partners and supporters, including key government agencies, like-minded organizations, individual sponsors and corporate donors who have faithfully journeyed with World Vision in the last few decades.

 

World Vision International Ambassador Marilee Pierce challenged the audience to help make better lives for children

 

World Vision International Ambassador Marilee Pierce-Dunker, daughter of World Vision founder Bob Pierce, graced the commemorative event and delivered an inspiring keynote message. Dunker revisited World Vision’s beginnings and her father’s vision of hope, leaving the crowd with a challenge.  Dunker shared, “Some people have so much to give and yet give so little, while others have so little and give so much.” Dunker then asked people of faith, good will and resources to help children and the needy. “We may not be able to change the world by ourselves, but we can change a child’s life for the better,” Dunker said, as she closed her speech.

 

It takes a world to end sexual exploitation of children 

 

One of the grim realities we face today is the sexual abuse of children. In the Philippines, 1 out of 10 children encounter sexual violence at home. Our country ranks 10th worldwide when it comes to sexual exploitation of children aged 10 to 14. And with the ready accessibility of the internet and rapid technological advancement, children are becoming more vulnerable to online abuse now more than ever.

 

According to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, children from marginalized groups are the most vulnerable to sexual abuse. “Children of the poor, children living in disaster-prone areas or in evacuation centers, and even children of migrant workers, among others, are vulnerable to sexual exploitation,” said Secretary Taguiwalo.

 

To strengthen its efforts in child protection, World Vision launched an advocacy campaign entitled “It Takes a World to End Sexual Exploitation of Children.” The 3-year campaign aims to reach three million children and to protect them from sexual exploitation and other forms of online and offline abuse.

 

World Vision Ambassadors Marc Nelson (3rd from left), Joyce Pring (4th from left), CJ Hirro (5th from left), Bianca Umali (6th from left) and Marilee Pierce-Dunker (4th from right) with former World Vision sponsored children (from left) Kim Mendoza and Elito Circa, Bishop Leo Alconga, Merlyn Guillermo, Richard Supat and Ernie Baclayon

 

World Vision launched the campaign in partnership with DSWD, International Justice Mission (IJM), Compassion International, the Inter-agency Against Trafficking (IACAT), and other like-minded groups, in the hopes of raising more awareness and resources to bring people to action and to better address the issue of sexual exploitation of children. Funding and volunteers for this campaign would be highly needed for prevention training, rescue operations, after-care and reintegration programs, and engagement of children survivors to be advocates of the cause.

 

Secretary Taguiwalo said of the advocacy campaign, “The DSWD welcomes this initiative by World Vision. Rest assured that we will work hand in hand with World Vision in our effort to protect and safeguard our children.”

 

(From left) IJM National Director Atty. Sam Innocencio, World Vision Ambassador Tintin Bersola-Babao, World Vision Chairperson Atty. Liwayway Vinzons-Chato , UNICEF Representative to the Philippines Lotta Sylwander, DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo, Compassion International Country Director Pastor Noel Pabiona, and new World Vision advocate CJ Hirro pull the plug on online sexual exploitation of children

 

Caring for communities

 

During the press launch, World Vision also introduced its new online application “Caring for Communities,” as it strengthens its effort not just to improve children’s lives but to help communities to be self-sustaining in the long haul. The online gift program gives donors the opportunity to support other World Vision’s community-based programs which promote Economic Development, Child Protection, and Disaster Preparedness programs.

 

The press launch was hosted by World Vision Ambassador for Disaster Risk and Reduction Marc Nelson and new World Vision Ambassador for Child Sponsorship Joyce Pring.

 

Other World Vision ambassadors who showed their support and attended the launch are World Vision Ambassador for the Youth Jasmine Curtis-Smith, World Vision Ambassador for Health and Nutrition Tintin Bersola-Babao, new World Vision Youth Ambassador for Education Bianca Umali, new World Vision Ambassador for Child Protection CJ Hirro, and World Vision National Ambassadors Tippy dos Santos and Sam Concepcion, among others.World Vision/March 23, 2017

 

Marilee Pierce-Dunker (4th from left) and Atty. Liwayway Vinzons-Chato (5th from left) join World Vision Ambassadors (from left) Marc Nelson, Joyce Pring, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Tintin Bersola-Babao, CJ Hirro, Tippy Dos Santos, Bianca Umali, and Sam Concepcion as they show their support for the campaign

 

Marilee Pierce Dunker (7th from left) with representatives from World Vision Corporate Partners (from left) Robinsons Supermarket, Tupperware Brands Inc., Northern Trust, ING Foundation Philippines, Citi Foundation Philippines, Far Eastern Broadcasting Corporation and Isuzu Philippines

 

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