Fr Shay Cullen & the PREDA Foundation
the Philippines, Fr Shay
PREDA, the organization he helped to found, provides a
therapeutic community for sexually and physically abused children. Based
in Olongapo City, it provides protection, shelter and a new lease
on life for these children. The Foundation works on the belief that when
abused and exploited children are shown love and respect, they can
begin to become absorbed in childhood things, normal activities they were
denied whilst in the power of their abusers.
The Center provides a wide variety of services, including a
protective and therapeutic home for up to 60 children. Its outreach
programme extends to care for another 60
with an objective to
reintegrate the children into a safe family environment and support
their schooling. Using therapy and education both in the community and
in schools, it aims to rehabilitate the children and encourage them to
bring their abusers to justice.
The Foundation has
been prominent in campaigns to end child prostitution and expose local syndicates
and children. It
pedophile websites that traffic children for sexual exploitation.
for People's Recovery
Empowerment and Development Assistance. It
began in 1973 as a community-based drug abuse
prevention and education agency with a
programme. Realizing that much drug abuse is a symptom of other social and
especially unemployment, Preda began to provide alternative skills and to
develop markets for the products.
Since 1974, PREDA has
been providing protection, education and rehabilitation services
for Street Children and young people in desperate circumstances, as
employment and education for their impoverished parents. In 1983 it
broadened its work to include: a) residential help; b) street contact
where PREDA social workers visit jails, contact children in the street and
organize outings for them; c) legal aid to investigate reported cases of
child abuse, gather evidence, co-ordinate with
national and international
child welfare and enforcement
agencies, file charges, protect
witnesses, hire lawyers and promote the prosecution of offenders. d) AIDS
PREDA’s education department
continues to hold prevention
seminars for various groups including youth
and bar women. Many more
receive educational input through video presentations and films sponsored
by PREDA and shown in city theatres and on local cable TV.
PREDA advocates through media and national
and international forums for women and children's rights
and environmental well-being. It is
financially self-reliant in administration and for most of its projects.
PREDA has won
many accolades through the
years. In 2000, PREDA
received the German city of Weimar's human rights award and was presented
with a similar award from Ferrara in Italy in 2001.