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PREDA Foundation
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PREDA Foundation

 

Fr Shay Cullen & the PREDA Foundation

 

            In  the  Philippines, Fr Shay Cullen and 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  trafficking  women  and  children. It   is  active   in    tracking  pedophile  websites that traffic children for sexual exploitation.

 

Background

 

            PREDA    stands    for    People's   Recovery   Empowerment   and Development  Assistance. It  began  in  1973 as  a  community-based  drug abuse   prevention   and  education  agency  with  a   practical rehabilitation programme.  Realizing  that  much drug abuse is a symptom of other social and  economic  factors, 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  well 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   child witnesses,  hire  lawyers and promote the prosecution of offenders. d) AIDS awareness.

            . 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.