Philippines: The subject of the abuse of children is a topic that no one would choose to have to discuss.   We would rather choose that abuse of this nature did not exist at all.   The unfortunate fact is that reported incidences of child abuse are on the rise world-wide.

The United Nations through UNICEF has partnered with national governments to promote the Child-Friendly Communities.  It is a strategy that calls for the involvement of all sectors of society to promote and protect children’s rights.

We serve a God that intends to have His purpose in a child’s life fulfilled.  Respecting the image of God in every child demands a Christ-like response to nurture our children throughout childhood.  The Church should provide support, protection, and nurture to all its children. It should serve as a wider family that functions as God’s agent with responsibility to provide protection and nurture alongside the family and steps in where the family fails or abandons its responsibility.

[flex_slider][slide source=’’ caption=’Child protection is our mandate as Christ-followers!’][slide source=’’ caption=’Trainees participated in several small group sessions.’][slide source=’’ caption=’More than 80 attendees from 28 churches, and 3 districts.’][slide source=’’ caption=’Four more training conferences of this type will be held throughout the Philippines before the end of 2013. ‘][/flex_slider]

All Nazarene ministries – churches, camps, schools, missions, and more – must understand the risk of child sexual abuse and take steps to reduce that risk.

Awareness and training of our leaders is the first step in tackling this epidemic and the The Philippine-Micronesia Field Office (PMFO) is making great strides in this direction.

The PMFO launched its first of five “Capacity Building on Child Protection and Dealing with Cases of Child Abuse” two day national leadership training conferences September 5-6th at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (APNTS) in Manila.  This first conference saw 80 attendees from twenty-eight churches, representing  three out of the eleven national districts.

“This is just the first step in bringing this very important training to all of the districts in the Philippines,” said Stephen Gualberto, Philippine-Micronesia Field Strategy Coordinator.  “Our plan is to hold four more of these conferences at our bible schools and other strategically located venues so that we can cover our National Nazarene leadership across the entire Philippines by the end of 2013.”

“We also want to make sure that our children are educated in their responsibility towards their own personal safety,” emphasized Gualberto.

The awareness and prevention training was provided by nationally recognized attorneys and leaders in the child protection field.  The lives of our children hang in the balance.  Taking action is not an option, it is our mandate as Christ-followers!

Check back on the Asia-Pacific Nazarene Region website for upcoming dates for training.

Contributors:  Stephen Gualberto, Mark and Jazz Eugenio