World Vision holds online forum on mental health and child protection

A pandemic didn’t stop the learning of around 65 child and youth participants in Aklan after World Vision, in partnership of Aklan Provincial Health Office, Regional Committee against Trafficking, Child Pornography and Violence against Women and their Children (RCAT-CP-VAWC 7), and Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of hildren Western Visayas (RSCWC),  held an online forum for Children and Youth about mental health and child protection, last July 28, 2020.

With the theme Makibahagi, Maki-alam sa Usaping Pambata: Protektahan at Ipaglaban ang Karapatan ng Bata (Be aware and be involved in talks about children: Protect and fight for child’s rights), the participants learned several topics about child protection especially during this time of health crisis.

The first two topics talked about Mental Health and how children can cope with their emotions while staying at home for a long period of time. The participants also discovered how they can support their peers who are going through mental health challenges.

The rest of the forum also discussed about protecting children with a special focus on online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC).

According to reports, there is an increase of OSEC cases in the country especially that the pandemic have made families more vulnerable from online predators.

The forum showed the participants how and where they can report protection cases such as OSEC.

“I learn a lot from the webinar particularly in posting or accessing in social media. We need to be careful and choose wisely when it comes in socializing other people online,” shares Jessa Mae, one of the participants.

The online forum was concluded with an open forum among the participants and the presenters. Overall, the children expressed that the forum is helpful to them and they are willing to share it to their friends.

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