Webinar Launch of the Video Animation Series and Second Edition CiSS NGO Compendium
The Street Children NGO Support Project (SNSP) and Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) collaborated on yet another successful public awareness campaign.
On November 24, 2021, SNSP hosted, “Walang Batang Maiiwan: A Virtual Forum on Children in Street Situations and Launch of the Short Video Series and Compendium on CiSS NGOs”, as part of CWC’s month-long celebration of the National Children’s Month.
Representatives from the CWC, LifeBank Foundation, Inc., National Council of Social Development Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. and its members, as well as various NGOs in Visayas and Mindanao participated in the event via Zoom and Facebook Live.
Speakers shared their experiences amid the pandemic, including the current status of Children in Street Situations (CiSS) in different parts of the National Capital Region (NCR), Visayas, and Mindanao, recalibration of programs and services to effectively address the children and communities’ urgent needs amid a global health crisis, and ways of moving forward.
The event also served as a fitting launching platform for the video animation series on CiSS and the second edition compendium.
LifeBank’s President and CEO Dr. Vicente Perlas welcomed the speakers and participants. Catherine Scerri, Executive Director of Manila-based NGO Bahay Tuluyan and Chairperson of the Council for the Welfare of Children’s Sub-committee on the Protection and Welfare of CiSS, gave updates on the conditions of CiSS in Metro Manila and elaborated on the push and pull factors that drive children to the streets. Meanwhile, Fr. Franlou Bardon talked about the situation in another urban center – Cebu City.
LifeBank’s Head for the Sustainable Development Department Berna Halongong gave an overview of LifeBank’s project Building Resilient Communities that works to launch interventions to provide for the urgent needs of local communities amid the pandemic. NCSD Board Member and Virlanie Executive Director Arlyne Fernandez discussed how Metro Manila NGOs navigated the global health crisis through recalibration and adaptive practices that hit the children and communities’ pressing needs head on. SNSP’s Executive Director Norma Chan-Pongan did the same for the Visayas and Mindanao NGOs.
Following informative discussions that provided a clearer picture of the current status of CiSS in urban centers and how the NGOs are recalibrating interventions to adapt to their needs, the forum progressed to tackling ways of moving forward. This part was led by Geert “Gerry” van der Linden, Chairman of the LifeBank’s Board of Trustees, and John Joshua Principio of CWC’s Public Affairs and Information Office.
The virtual forum also highlighted the importance of a multi-pronged approach supported by concerted efforts of various stakeholders and duty-bearers in caring for and handling CiSS. To this end, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno both sent their messages of support to likewise show how their LGUs are working with other groups to effectively and properly address the CiSS phenomenon.
The event was doubly special as it also served as a launching platform for another publication – NORFIL Foundation Incorporated’s Born from Love. Alvi Siongco, President of NORFIL Adoptive Parents and NORFIL Executive Director Maria Teresa Nuqui led the book launch towards the final part of the program.