Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III had the chance to witness the present condition of abused kids as he graced on Tuesday, December 5, the second year anniversary of Rancho ni Cristo, a shelter that houses victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking.
During his talk, Davide highlighted the severe case of online trafficking among children that reveals an increasing number since 2015.
“Online sex trafficking is a serious problem not just here in Cebu. Through this facility, we build the lives of these children, restore their dignity and in these ways we can rebuild the nation,” Davide said.
Bart Van Oost, the shelter’s managing director, said they are targeting to build ten cottages, a school building, gym, chapel, clinic and a staff house that can help in the safety and support for the children victims.
Once completed, Oost said, the facility can accommodate a total of 100 children with ten kids housed in each safe-haven.
“But we can’t really determine the completion yet because we are relying on donations,” Oost added.
Davide spent the morning with the victims. He toured around the cottages in which one served as a classroom where victims get a chance to complete junior high school.
Aside from providing the victim’s basic necessities, ‘the shelter also provides counselling, mentoring, and life skills training with the love of Christ as the center of it,’ Oost said.
The center currently houses 24 victims, who are mostly rescued by the International Justice Mission (IJM). The shelter was formed in 2015 by Club in Unity of Restoration thru Empowerment (C.U.R.E.) Foundation Inc.
Just recently, the Cebu Provincial Government opened the Cebu Provincial Women and Children Development Center (CPWCDC). The P14-million facility was built to house abused women and children in the province.