MANILA and QUEZON CITY, Philippines, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Children International has deployed its extensive network of trained community volunteers to help UNICEF support children lost or emotionally traumatized by typhoons in the Philippines in 2009.
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The U.S.-based humanitarian organization, which helps more than 335,000 poor children around the world, including about 100,000 in the Philippines, reports the following successes:
- 150 youth and adult volunteers received training in psychosocial support activities.
- Volunteers reached 8,240 families and children through these activities, exceeding their goal of 7,000.
- Referred 175 lost or separated children to social workers.
Through the program, those youth volunteers created a safe place for suffering children to cope with the shock of a major natural disaster. Volunteers used games, art and reading as an outlet for children to deal with their emotions and fears brought about by the typhoons.
Volunteers also helped identify and register lost or missing children with national agencies in order to help reunite them with their families and relatives displaced by raging floodwaters and winds.
Youth from Children International's Youth Health Corps, a network of 2,000 Filipino-trained teens using peer-to-peer education methods to teach the value of living a healthy lifestyle, will incorporate the UNICEF training in their program activities. These youth will serve younger children who have survived major emotional experiences, and train other Youth Health Corps members to conduct play-therapy for children and their peers.
As a result of the program's success, UNICEF is extending the program to July 2010 in order to train more youth and adult volunteers.
Children International's President and CEO Jim Cook said, "I am grateful that UNICEF recognizes the value of the strength of Children International's volunteer network and our Youth Health Corps. The youth are exceptional, capable and inspiring young adults. The youth and volunteers stand ready to assist young children if they should need help."
The training is part of an initiative from UNICEF to promote the use of child-friendly spaces, child-to-child interaction and play therapy to provide a safe outlet for children after experiencing a traumatic event.
Children International currently has nearly 10,000 community volunteers and parents who help implement daily activities on the ground in 11 countries around the world.
About Children International:
Established in 1936, Children International is a humanitarian organization with its headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. Children International's programs benefit more than 335,000 children and their families in 11 countries around the world including Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Zambia, Honduras, India, the Philippines and the United States. For more information about Children International or to sponsor a child, visit www.children.org
SOURCE Children International