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PHILIPPINES: Foundation Run by Salesian Sisters Wins 2012 Stars Impact Award

Laura Vicuña Foundation Wins 2012 Stars Impact Award

(MissionNewswire) The Laura Vicuña Foundation, managed by the Salesian Sisters in Manila, received the 2012 Stars Impact Award in London under the Protection Category in the Asia Pacific Region. The foundation was selected from 302 short-listed organizations which came from over 1,000 applicants in 14 countries.

STARS founding Chairman Amr Al-Dabbagh presented the award to Sr. Marivic Sta. Ana, FMA, executive director of the Laura Vicuña Foundation. The ceremony was held at The Orangery at Kensington Palace this past Dec. 15.

The Salesian Sisters will use the $100,000 prize money received along with the award to help build a bigger home for the healing and recovery of sexually-abused girls. The new building will also house a training center and the foundation’s offices.

The comprehensive work of the foundation for the protection and development of poor youth, particularly the foundation’s pioneering child protection clinic on wheels and the three Children of the Canes national conferences convened by the LVF towards a socially responsible sugar industry were highlighted as programs that helped them secure the award.

Founded in 1990, the Laura Vicuña Foundation helps children to understand their rights, enabling many to go on to become rights advocates themselves. The foundation runs a center for the healing and recovery of sexually abused, exploited and trafficked youth as well as two vocational-technical schools and an alternative learning program to aid in the protection of youth in high risk communities in Metro Manila.

According to UNICEF, there are an estimated 1.5 million street children in the Philippines, about 75,000 of whom are living in Manila, with thousands more ending up homeless every month. Drop-out rates double as children reach secondary school and there are more than 11 million out-of-school youth.

“Most of the children who end up on our streets are forced into a life of sexual abuse and drugs, and are rounded up into crime syndicates often having no one to turn to,” says Sr. Marivic. “The girls are often abused by their own peers or by pimps, and become victims of trafficking. They come to us severely traumatized.”

“While I was in London, I had the opportunity to tell His Excellency Amr Al-Dabbagh about the importance of reaching out to children in their communities, schools and even homes which is why the mobile protection unit is so effective,” adds Sr. Marivic. “We want to extend the reach of that unit to child laborers in the sugarcane industry. These children are highly at risk from hazardous labor, from trafficking and from sexual exploitation. Taking a second mobile unit out into the plantations where these children are, is the only way that we can intervene now and offer them protection.”



ANS – Philippines – Laura Vicuña Foundation wins 2012 Stars Impact Award

Laura Vicuña Foundation – Website

UNICEF – Philippines


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