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May 5, 2022

Teens from Ella Yalah and Elizabeth house are out and about !

Last April 18 to 20, Virlanie organized its workshop for the young adults. What's the agenda? Trainings on prevention of Sexual Assault, deepening of knowledge on Children's Rights and Team building.

April, a month of prevention and awareness against child sexual abuse

April is designated as National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. In 2015, a national study commissioned by the Philippine government and supported by UNICEF found that about one in five children aged 13 to 17 has experienced sexual violence.  

The Virlanie Foundation is committed to its young people, not only by providing for their physical needs, but also by giving them the keys to their development. To this end, numerous training sessions are offered to the children throughout the year. 

The latest event started on the 18th of April and lasted three days in Batangas. It allowed young people from Ella Yalah, Elizabeth and two girls from the independent living program to come together and share a friendly time around a swimming pool, while having good food and of course karaoke. 

One of the topics that struck me the most was the signs of abuse and who is generally vulnerable to sexual abuse.
There are also boys who have been abused but have not been able to tell because some people think that boys must be tough and that the signs of abuse are not visible because they always say they are fine. As a child advocate, I will use my own voice and the knowledge I have gained from all the trainings I have attended; I will advocate and fight for the rights of children. I hope that legislators will create systems for young boys and members of the LGBT community.

Two fun but intense days

The days were punctuated by an intense program, combining physical activities in the morning, but also trainings on the topic of sexual abuse, incest and their effects

The first part of the program, led by the leaders of The Rising Youth, aimed to create an environment of trust around a fun and engaging discussion, where they were able to raise awareness of Children’s Rights among their peers. (Child protection program in the Philippines)

The teenagers were then shown a short film, entitled “Daughter”, which focuses on the issue of incest, incestuous sexual abuse and its effects on the victims.

The young people were then divided into three groups, according to their age: Young adults, Younger children and Children with special needs. Each workshop was adapted to the age of the kids so that they could effectively grasp the concept of abuse prevention and better understand the topics discussed. The animators used different teaching methods, such as open discussion, supported by visual and kinesthetic aids, which encouraged the beneficiaries to get involved and participate. 


From listening to practice

After spending two days listening and taking note of the different topics, the young people had the opportunity to express in their own words what they had learned from their trainings. The different groups presented scenarios showing situations of aggression and how to react to them.

It helps children develop a healthy and more positive body image,
instead of using nicknames saying that their genitals are something shameful or bad.
It also gives children the correct language to understand their bodies and ask questions about sexual development.

A bonding bootcamp

Virlanie remains above all a large family that seeks the well-being of the children. It is in this spirit that on the last day, just before leaving, a small friendly competition was held, in which the Elizabeth house girls and their house mums participated. The program included blind tests, obstacle courses, sports and memory tests.

The three days in Batangas ended in good spirits and with a head full of new information.

Thus, with the help and advice of our social workers and our psychologist, the participants were able to learn during these three days: the signs of abuse, the types, how to prevent child sexual abuse, the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships, and how to manage boundaries.

To know more information about our young adults, visit Virlanie Foundation’s residential program.

The main thing I learned was how to take care of myself and stay away from sexual harassment.
In order not to experience it, we have to be very vigilant. I learned the basic techniques to protect myself,
and who are the trusted people I can turn to if I ever find myself in this kind of situation.
We spoke very freely during the sessions, and our animators were knowledgeable enough to answer all our questions.