Since schools in the Philippines have shifted mostly to online classes and large gatherings are still prohibited, our partner Honor 1000 found an alternative to continue reaching out to students and parents and raise awareness on human trafficking and online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) despite the pandemic.
They recently started house-to-house visits, distributing infographic materials and discussing the dangers of human trafficking and OSAEC and how to fight them. Many of the parents they talked to had little to no knowledge about the issue or how to protect themselves and their children from it. They asked many questions and now know where to report should they know of any cases. Some parents also shared personal experiences from the past which they realized were forms of trafficking and/or online abuse.
The house-to-house approach was especially helpful for difficult to reach places in the rural areas of the Philippines. We are grateful that the parents valued the visit; likewise, the parents were grateful for the new knowledge imparted to them.
Local authorities have reported a surge in cases of online sexual exploitation of children in the recent months due to economic challenges brought about by the pandemic. (16 September 2020, Philippine Daily Inquirer).
HELP US CONTINUE THE FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND ONLINE SEXUAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN.
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Microfinance Women and Staff Supporting Each Other
Because of the pandemic, most of the Philippines has been placed on lockdown since last year. This has challenged our program to adapt and comply with the health protocols that each municipality has set. We are grateful to have a dedicated team who diligently visits each area and client.
After several months of another strict lockdown in Manila, public schools are getting ready once again for module distribution. This allows us to reach out to more students despite schools being closed.
As young as 9 years old, Elaine (name changed for privacy) was pimped by her mom to customers along the street, and at 10 years old, Elaine started working in bars. She was finally rescued a year after and is now safe in shelter.
The journey to sustainability varies for each of the client moms of Honor 1000's Microfinance Program. There are various factors and conditions contributing to this, but one thing remains unchanged and that is the support provided to these moms.
The fight against OSAEC (online sexual abuse and exploitation of children) and human trafficking may be complex and long. But the increased involvement of leaders and advocates encourages us to continue pushing forward.