Gualandi gets award for ‘Break the Silence’ project-A A +A
Thursday, September 19, 2013
THE Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme Inc.(GVSP Philippines) was awarded by the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program, an Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) initiative managed by The Asia Foundation (TAF), last Aug. 13 at the Mall Berry Suites, Cagayan De Oro.
GVSP Philippines got the recognition for implementing the project, Break The Silence Network: Deaf Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program.
The group has been documenting and assisting in the filing of cases related to sexual abuse of deaf children and women.
This effort was part of the “Break The Silence” project, which was launched in Cebu in January 2011 after it discovered high instances of sexual abuse among the hearing-impaired people.
GVSP has been implementing a series of trainings and advocacy activities to provide partner organizations, deaf volunteers and the deaf community, particularly the deaf children in special education (Sped) centers and mountain communities, with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitude to prevent or appropriately respond to child sexual and exploitation.
GVSP initially trained a pool of deaf trainers who have been conducting training sessions in Sped schools in Cebu.
The initiative yielded positive results, with more community members gaining a better understanding of the behavior surrounding abuses in both victims and offenders. The local police force, court staff, teachers and social workers who have undergone deaf culture awareness and Filipino sign language trainings have expressed interest in improving the delivery of support and protection services for the deaf.
GVSP, in partnership with participating deaf organizations, have reached out at least 1,100 deaf children and women and their families; monitored and assisted 30 cases of rape and other abuses by providing sign language interpreters; gathered around 45 disclosures from deaf students and adults in the community; and has trained at least 505 stakeholders including parents, community members, students, government employees and partner NGOs.
GVSP invites civil society and private organizations and local government units to partner with them through the BTS network to strengthen the combat against deaf sexual abuse and improve case handling and recovery management of deaf victims.
One may call GVSP Philippines at 2600-4043 or text at 0917-7014700, or visit the group’s Facebook page at GVSPPhilippines or www.gvspvolunteers.org.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 20, 2013.