Australian exec visits GVSP Cebu

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014


DAVID Dutton, minister and deputy head of mission of the Australian Embassy, visited the beneficiaries of the Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme (GVSP) in Cebu City.

With support from the Australian Government through the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (Pacap), GVSP is currently implementing an awareness-raising project on the rights of the deaf in Central Visayas.

The Break the Silence project aims to empower at least 2,000 adults and children who are deaf with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitude to prevent or appropriately respond to child sexual abuse and exploitation.

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Through the project, GVSP also trains local government partners and the police in the region on deaf culture and sign language to help them deal with cases involving deaf victims.

The visit allowed GVSP staff, volunteers and project beneficiaries to update Dutton about the development of the project as well as to express their gratitude for Australia’s support.

Dutton acknowledged GVSP’s works in empowering the deaf.

“Australia has a strong commitment to disability-inclusive development. It is not right that a person’s disability should determine whether they can go to school, or
get a job or participate in community life. Let us leave no-one behind,” said Dutton.

“Australia is working with partners to tackle the stigma that still surrounds disability, which can be one of the largest barriers to full participation of people with disabilities in community and economic life. Australia is proud to partner with GVSP, an organization that shares Australia’s commitment to improve the lives of people with disabilities.”

Pacap is a P2 billion facility supported by the Australian Government.

The facility aims to strengthen civil society and reduce poverty by providing direct assistance to communities.

It has been supporting Filipino communities for 28 years and has awarded over 2,200 grants benefiting more than 1.4 million poor people.

Australia is a long-standing development partner of the Philippines and one of the country’s largest bilateral grant aid donors.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 07, 2014.

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