Thirty-eight girl-children at the Home for Girls, mostly victims of sexual abuse, are monthly provided with spiritual strengthening activities by Philippine National Police Chaplain PCI/ Fr. Heinje Cañete of Regional Command, San Fernando City, La Union.
As part of PNP’s Outreach Program, Thanksgiving Mass and Christian learning modules are provided to the girl-residents along with simulation therapy activities. Moreover, counseling sessions are conducted by Fr. Cañete which accordingly provide them relief.
“Nakakagaan ng loob maikuwento ang mga masasamang nangyari sa amin (It’s a relief sharing our traumatic experiences),” said a girl-resident named Ana (alias). To accept and give another chance to their perpetrators to improve their negative behaviors are among the pieces of advice from Fr. Cañete that are valued by the girl-residents. Ana is a child abuse victim who was regularly beaten by her mother whenever she committed small mistakes. She was also not allowed to play with the children in the neighborhood and stayed only in their small hut.
But with these activities conducted by Fr. Cañete, Ana is having fun while restoration of her normal social functioning is facilitated.
As mentioned by OIC- Center Head Norma Jacla, the girl-residents are given the opportunity to regain self worth and enjoy activities apt for their young minds. Together with other PNP ReCom staff, Fr. Cañete also distributes novelty items or school supplies and conducts simulation therapeutic activities, which, according to Jacla help the children divert their traumatic experiences into worthwhile and therapeutic ones. Homelife activities, non-formal education, and other skills trainings are conducted in the Center with a regular Character Building Program every Monday. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)