Women Development Center, Bahay Pag-Asa, a haven for troubled children

DAVAO DEL NORTE, Nov. 25 (PIA) – The provincial government of Davao del Norte has sustained the operation of Women Development Center and Bahay Pag-Asa to give shelter and rehabilitation to troubled children coming from disorganized families.

During today’s Pakigsayod, Davao del Norte Women Development Center Head, Jun Elen Agmata, and Provincial Social Welfare Development Office Focal person on Child Protection, Lanny Guinit, shared the functions of such institutions.

Agmata said that the Women Development Center serve as a safe house for young women who have been sexually abused, which she said makes up 95% of the cases “within family bound”.

Thus, the center helps these innocent children reintegrate back to the society.

“From admission to reintegration… Tudloan sila unsaon pag luto, unsaon pag behave well, unsaon pag pakihalobilo, tanan amoa nang gina tudlo sa ilaha samtang naa sila sa sulod (We teach them how to cook, how to behave well, how to socialize, everything we teach them during their stay),” she said.

Naa juy muabot nga mga residente diha nga dili kaila’g patatas, dili kaila’g kamatis tungod sa ka inosente nila ba unya tungod sa ilang ka inosente mao pud nang in ana ang nahitabo sa ilaha (There are residents who don’t know what a potato is, don’t know what a tomato is because of their innocence, which is also the reason why they became victims),” she added.

In addition to teaching them towards reintegration, the center also makes sure that when the children are discharged, the family they are sent back to is capable of keeping them safe; otherwise, such as in the cases where the perpetrators are family members, the children will be sent to a capable foster family.

“Gikan sa center amoa siyang e buo, ang iyahang uli-an kinahanglan buo pud kay para ma back to normal ang cycle sa iyahang kinabuhi (From the center, we make them whole, the family they go home to also have to be whole so that their life-cycle go back to normal),” Agmata explained.

“In fact naa tay mga cases na wala gyud namo gipapa-uli sa pamilya, didto namo gi uli sa mga foster family kay walay potential ang family mu take care. Kay gi ayo na namo sila sa center pero pag uli nila sa ila, bisag unsaon namog arrange ang pamilya dili gyud ha-om nga ibalik namo ang bata. Potentially ma re-abuse pa hinuon siya didto (In fact we have cases that we didn’t send back to their family, we sent them to their foster family because their family doesn’t have potential to take care. We gave wellness to the children in the center but when they go home, no matter how we arrange their family, it’s just not suited for the child. There’s a potential they get abused there again),” she said.

“So that’s the time nangita mi ug katong mga foster family nga willing kaayo mu commit (So that’s the time we look for foster families who are willing to commit),” she added.

In contrast to Women Development Center, the Bahay Pag-Asa is a rehabilitation center for male children who are in conflict with the law (CICL).

Lanny Guinit, in behalf of the Center Head of Bahay Pag-Asa, said that the children here are those with cases on theft, rape, arson, and those involved with illegal drugs.

However, she said that those with heinous crimes, which there have been 36 to date, are transferred to other facilities.

“Pero sa karon naga limit ta sa mga heinous crime gyud, high-profile na mga cases (But for now we limit from the heinous crimes, high-profile cases),” Guinit said.

With these, Agmata explained that the role of both centers is to bring “cure” to such children.

“I will always say prevention is better than cure, pero kay tungod naa nay nahitabo kinahanglan na nato e cure. So mao na ang role karon sa bahay pag-asa ug sa Women Development Center (but since something has already happened, we need to cure. That is the role of Bahay Pag-Asa and Women Development Center),” she said. (Jan Vincent Leuterio, PIA-XI) 



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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