Preda Update

April 3, 2012

Let us try to see the real presence of Jesus in the victims of injustice and abuse.
Let us challenge all who cover up abuse and let us free the children from power of the abusers and give them freedom, care, education and happiness. – Fr. Shay Cullen, Preda founder

Thanks in part to the Preda Public Education Campaign, more children are coming forward to report being abused and ask for help. This program educates teachers, children and parents about abuse and how to get help. It inspires action and cooperation in reporting child abuse. More people are texting-in reports of child abuse and more children are being saved by the Preda Rescue team.

We are building a new girl’s home in the countryside in a beautiful place surrounded by hills and a little river flows through it. The new home will be more spacious and in a beautiful natural location. The second floor of the two-story building is nearly complete and the construction of the first chalet for the commercially exploited girls has started already. Hopefully this summer, the first building will be opened.

Last year, a total of 85 girls were saved, helped and given protection at the Preda Center; 36 girls were enrolled in formal school, both elementary and high school, and all have done very well and were elevated to the next grade – a sign of recovery and resilience. Those rescued from the bars and the streets are not ready for formal schooling, instead, they receive non-formal education at Preda and life skills training like sewing, cooking and baking, computer lessons, soap making and card making. This enhances their self-worth and gives the encouragement for the future.

They are all brave girls and they are constantly affirmed as good children. They are encouraged to find justice and freedom from that fear of the abuser’s threats. They know that they can save other children.

Prevention is better than cure. At the Preda Foundation, we do both, and the preventive education team conducted many children’s rights seminars for more than 20,000 students, teachers and parents. This continues five days a week. They use multimedia presentations, puppet shows, and theater for fun learning. The children themselves were empowered and they themselves report the abuse to the Preda team after the seminars. Through this outreach education programs, child victims even in far away villages were reached and given assistance.

Columban Fr. Shay Cullen lives and works in the Philippines.