“I’m very proud of this endeavor as Social Workers cannot do this alone but through the help of the barangay, they can make this advocacy for children possible…” Tacloban City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) Department Head, Ms. Remedios Buna, RSW, exclaimed during the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) Kamustahan last August 9, 2018. This statement is one of the many insights expressed by the mentors and participants about how advantageous the Strengthening Implementers by Mentoring and Uplifting Local Actors (SIMULA) project being implemented San Miguel, Bulacan; Itogon, Benguet; Daet, Camarines Norte and Tacloban City, Leyte is.
SIMULA is a project being implemented in partnership with DILG, DSWD, CWC, JJWC, UNICEF and HLAF in order to train regional mentors that will be able to guide, assist and mentor the barangays to capacitate and strengthen the functionality of their BCPCs. For the project, each region has four pilot barangays where the mentors will guide, assist and mentor the participants on how to respond to the needs on the gray areas in capacity building their BCPCs. Mentors also coach the pilot barangays on strengthening their BCPCs and handling CAR and CICL cases. They also facilitate the barangays’ progress in strengthening their BCPCs by sharing resources and networks. Mentoring focuses on the total development as mentors guide the barangays in creating functional and responsive BCPCs.
From July 3, 2018, the mentors started to train the barangays and based from the conducted BCPC Kamustahan on the four regions, the mentors shared the same insight with Ms. Helena Claire Canayong from the Volunteer for the Visayans where she expressed that mentoring allows her to build a relationship between the barangays as the communication deepens their engagement with each other.
The following are the SIMULA mentors per region: (CAR) Ms. Ma. Lourdes Aurelio from BBCC, Ms. Marie Cris Rimando from DILG Regional Office, Ms. Rufina Fegcan from DILG Provincial Office, Ms. Divina Mencio from PNP/WCPD Regional Office, Ms. Carmencita Chaluyen from DSWD, Ms. Nora Jacinto from RJJWC, Ms. Ruby Lynn Huag from RSCWC, Atty. Lovely Calumnag from CHR-CAR and Mr. Ron Bixby A. Pedronio from DSWD-RRCY; (Region III) Ms. Jocelyn Mena from PSWDO, Ms. Rosalie Pulga-Abarca from CSWDO Olongapo City, Ms. Cherina G. Quinones from DILG, Mr. Jonathan Siglos from PSWDO Zambales, Ms. Charlene Jane Cuaresma from PSWDO Aurora, Ms. Gelyn T. Valera from PSWDO Bulacan, Mr. Reyman Bimeda from RJJWC, Ms. Sherryl B. Santos from DSWD RIACAT-VAWC, Ms. Nelly S. Medina from DSWD Institutional Development Division (IDD), and Ms. Maggie Moc-Eng from RRCY III; (Region 5) Ms. Marichris Arienda from Children Leadership and Advocacy Program, Inc., Mr. Rannel Domasig from DILG, Ms. Cynthia R. Dela Cruz from PSWDO Camarines Norte, Mr. Arnel Ferrer from PSO V, Ms. Ana Marie Binamira from RSCWC, Ms. Genoveva Barcelon from RJJWC, and Ms. Kathe Genevieve Sabdao from DSWD; (Region VIII) Ms. Yvonne Serrano-Abonales from DSWD, Ms. Jenna Negros from DILG, Ms. Richelle Villamor from RSCWC, Ms. Chona Bahin from CSWDO, Ms. Helena Claire Canayong from Volunteers for the Visayans, Mr. Enrico Baloro from Plan International, Ms. Agnes Bugal from RJJWC, Ms. Vivian Claros from Province of Leyte, Ms. Naresh Norma Heramis from DOJ-PPA and Ms. Rona Lomuardo from CHR.
The mentors together with HLAF are currently conducting series of training which consists of eight modules. For the basic modules, the first three modules tackled Module 1: Local Governance, BCPC Orientation and Child Protection Laws, Policies, Programs and Services, Module 2: BCPC Strategic Planning - Comprehensive Local Juvenile Intervention Plan (CLJIP) and Module 3: Networking, Resource Mobilization and Writeshop on Local Legislation. For the advanced module, the barangays will have Module 4 and 5: Paralegal and Para-Social Workers Skills Training, Module 6: ParaOrganizing Skills Training (Restorative Justice Advocates), Module 7: Training of Trainers (ToT) and Module 8: Child Protection in Emergency and during Recovery.
SIMULA mentors from Tacloban City had already concluded the training for this year as they conducted the Paralegal and Para-Social Workers Skills Training last Nov. 10-13, 2018 and will continue the training on the last week of January 2019. As per Itogon, Benguet and San Miguel, Bulacan, the mentors have finished conducting the first three module this 2018 and eyeing to conduct the Training of Trainers during the first week of January 2019. For the participants of Daet, Camarines Norte, the mentors will hold the Paralegal and Para-Social Workers Skills Training this last week of November 2018 and will continue as well by February 2019.
The SIMULA project targets to wrap the training sessions of BCPC training by third week of March 2019 and will eye to hold the 2019 Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) Congress to gather duty bearers, implementers and advocates of juvenile justice from Metro Manila, Benguet, Bulacan, Camarines Norte and Tacloban in order to have an avenue for the barangays to showcase their good stories and best practices in implementing programs for children. HLAF also held a fund raising activity for the BCPC Congress through the block screening of Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald last November 15, 2018.