September 23, 2020
Training launched to promote stress and anxiety management to benefit Filipino children in residential care facilities
A series of trainings for house parents and social workers on stress and anxiety management and teaching children health and sanitation management was launched this month to benefit 1,607 disadvantaged children in some of the Philippines' residential care facilities (RCFs).
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in partnership with Japanese non-profit organization A Child's Trust is Ours to Nurture (ACTION) are working together to build the capacity of workers in RCFs on anxiety management and in teaching children how to cope as part of interventions to support children during the pandemic.
The training in the form of webinars were partly based on an existing house parenting standards manual that JICA, ACTION, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) developed from 2013-2019.
Photo of webinar courtesy of ACTION
House parents are trained professionals that supervise disadvantaged children in RCFs. About 489 house parents joined the webinars.
The activity is part of the JICA Follow-Up Survey under its Technical Cooperation for Grassroots Project that involves Japanese organizations, academe, or citizens in international cooperation.
"COVID-19 has severely affected residential care facilities for children. With widely documented increase of cases of abuse and exploitation, many RCFs should currently be running on or above full capacity. This is expected to have adverse effects on both the residents and house parents. This cooperation with JICA will provide necessary interventions to help this sector in the context of ongoing pandemic," said YOKOTA Hajime, President and Founder of ACTION, Inc.
Training of house parents at one of the RCFs
JICA, ACTION, and DSWD have been working together for the past nine years to support at-risk children through capacity building projects for house parents in RCFs.
JICA Senior Representative KANO Aya said, "JICA believes that by working closely with different stakeholders like government agencies and Japanese organizations like ACTION, we can all play a pivotal role to protect vulnerable sectors in these challenging times."
As COVID-19 pandemic triggered health crisis and other socioeconomic challenges all over the world, JICA has also actively supported the Philippines in recovery efforts. Aside from the support to vulnerable sectors, JICA also earlier disbursed a JPY50-billion COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support to support the Philippine government in addressing the pandemic and revitalizing the economy.