Shelter for young offenders in Mandaue City

Street children and children in conflict with the law (CICL) have additional home with MyHome Center (MHC) in Mandaue City.

Since its opening last October, MHC currently houses 52 children from Mandaue City and neighboring towns and cities.

MHC Mandaue head Maricel Yu said most of the children were referred to MHC and social workers while some of them were rescued by street educators from the streets.

The younger ones among the child residents called children at risk aged below 15 years old were taken in for petty crimes.

MHC is a joint endeavor of the Mandaue City government with funding through the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) Program of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Yu said this is a special project of the Mandaue City Council for the Protection of Children.

“Mandaue City government earmarked Php 22 million for Phase 1 of the project and site development while Php 12.6 million from BUB funds was spent for the Phase 2 building. The national government gave another Php 1.5 million for the equipment in the center,” she said.

Non-Mandaue City residents rounded up by the police are referred to MHC but will later be integrated back to their communities.

In the beginning, there were a couple of escapes but later on, MHC’s young residents began to love their stay.

In the center they are immersed in various activities such as information technology sessions, gardening, arts, self-awareness activities, projects and academic studies.

Those ready for formal schooling are sent by the Mandaue City government to the nearest elementary and public high school in partnership with non-government organizations and Alay Lakad.

MHC also has a drum set and keyboards donated by a Hongkong-based Cebuano and a relative of Cebuana actress Pilar Pilapil.

MHC’s operational budget for 2016 is Php 10 million. (Fides Palicte)