Alumni News Recap - June 19
A 2022 alumna of the Spanish language group, Jannett Maribel Florez Ibarra, has shared with us an initiative of the White Cross (Cruz Blanca) Catholic Association she collaborates with in Peru:
“Since 2016, Cruz Blanca has run the EDUCA Program, with the objective of accompanying children between 9 and 12 years of age in their academic education, to support them in their learning, their study habits and the creation of Christian values. EDUCA is located in one of the poorest areas of Lima, the city of Ancon.
During the COVID-19 pandemic there was a pause in its activities, but in 2022 it started again, with an updated program. 100 vulnerable and school-aged children will be welcomed from April to December 2023, during after-school hours.
Such a project obliges us to have safe and healthy environments for minors. For this reason, we have launched the “Programa Niñ@s Seguros” (Safe Children Program). We have prepared Codes of Conduct for all involved, including volunteers, parents and children. We have also formulated Letters of Commitment and Incident Reports. We are working with allied social actors to support the education, health and safety of the children. We are in the process of updating action protocols for the protection of minors as well as completing the education sessions for the children.
We are somewhat concerned about not having enough financial resources to fix and reshape some of the structures, such as the children's eating room, the classrooms, the playroom, the amphitheater and closed spaces that can represent a risk for children during their education. Nevertheless, we are carrying out charitable and social activities to provide further income and enable us to move forward.”
A special thanks to the IADC alumnus asked to share news about a courageous and challenging initiative in the Czech Republic: “Někdo Ti uvěří” (“Someone Will Believe You”):
“‘Někdo Ti uvěří’ (“Someone Will Believe You”) is the name of an organization in the Czech Republic that brings together victims and professionals who care about the issue of sexual abuse in the church. The organization offers “a safe environment for victims to share what has happened to them and to educate. We care about the church and the people in and around it. We have hope that the alienation caused by abuse can be overcome”.
Formed in late 2020, “Někdo Ti uvěří” has 16 members and last year received 73 contacts from a variety of people, particularly victims or others concerned about alleged abuse. It has organized seminars and acted as an advocate for victims. It is available to listen, to assist with professional services, and to provide educational help to groups like parishes.
We often proclaim the idea that victims/survivors should be an integral part of safeguarding work. Here is one organization that has made this the foundation of its work. The idea that is intertwined in the foundation of this organization is that all members are experts on the topic of abuse. Some are experts because they have lived through it and others because they have focused their professional lives on helping people who have been abused, communities affected by abuse, and those who have abused to help heal and rebuild relationships and protect survivors from further harm. The only way to overcome abuse of power is by empowering the powerless and working together for change.”