Today, we celebrate the bond between two countries working together for peace, unity, education, and development. As we commemorate the Philippines-Australia Friendship Day, Bantay Bata 163, a program of ABS-CBN Foundation, would also like to show its gratitude to the Australian Government through the Direct Aid Program (DAP) administered by the Australian Embassy in the Philippines for helping the organization bring child-welfare projects to fruition.

With the common goal of protecting our children, the Australian Aid and Bantay Bata 163 came together to implement capacity building projects namely “Ligtas ang Batang Handa” (Emergency Preparedness) which has served 2,000 children in Cebu and 1,818 in Davao and “Batang Safe Online, Smart All the Time” (Online Safety for Children) which catered 1,730 children in Taguig and 2,117 in Cebu. These programs equipped Filipino children with appropriate knowledge and skills on disaster preparedness and online abuse prevention.

“In Cebu, we were able to conduct 44 sessions for the entire period focusing on the topics about disaster preparedness on specific emergencies – fire, earthquake, typhoon, and on the protection of children during emergencies,” said Melisa Alison, Bantay Bata 163 Social Worker.  

“The students were also given a 4-day supplemental feeding while the project was implemented in their schools. Emergency kits containing flashlights and whistles were also distributed to the student beneficiaries,” Alison added.

Meanwhile, the “Batang Safe Online, Smart All the Time” project benefitted over 3,800 students in Cebu and Taguig. It aims to educate children on the possible dangers of the online world and to provide them with information on how they can be safe while using the internet.