The plight of children and minors being victims of abuse and injustice, especially in the Philippines, is a reality that is becoming more and more apparent. As the number of cases involving abuse and sexual exploitation of children continues to rise, the DSWD AMOR Village has become a safe haven for these minors who have nowhere else to go.
Amor, which in Latin means “love” reflects the DSWD’s commitment to helping these vulnerable groups receive the love and care they deserve. If you are interested to learn more about this initiative, keep on reading the following sections.
What is the DSWD AMOR Village?
The DSWD AMOR Accelerating Minors Opportunity for Recovery (AMOR) Village is a haven for children and adults with physical and/or mental handicaps in San Francisco East, Anao, Tarlac. Together with its partner company, Far East Furniture, they have opened a sheltered workshop where young adults develop products made of weaved material derived from recyclable snack wrappers. Proceeds from sales are paid to AMOR without any deduction of cost.
AMOR Village is a residential facility that provides temporary shelter to children who are victims of abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. It is also a safe place where they can receive counseling and medical assistance while waiting for their cases to be resolved.
This facility for orphans and vulnerable children was established to provide them with the necessary resources and support to recover and develop their lives. It was established after they were abused and neglected by their parents in line with Republic Act No. 7610 or The Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act (R.A. 7610).
The DSWD AMOR Village is an amazing initiative that provides countless benefits to its residents:
Provide employment opportunities in the form of livelihood training and workshops
The DSWD aims to not only provide temporary shelter for the children but also help them find jobs so that they can support themselves once they’re back in society.
The DSWD provides livelihood training and workshops to its residents to equip them with skills, enabling them to become productive members of society and help them reintegrate with their communities.
Healthcare, education and even nutritional support.
And as these children reside in this facility until they are capable of re-integrating into society, the DSWD provides them with healthcare, education and even nutritional support.
These are just some of the basic needs of children, which they, unfortunately do not receive from their parents because of severe poverty, abandonment, and safety issues.
Better physical and mental health
With their basic needs provided for, these children can become much healthier, feel more secure, and enjoy a better quality of life.
Mental health issues like depression or anxiety are common among children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. By providing them with a safe environment and the support they need, DSWD can help these children lead happier lives.
Livelihood skills and training for employment to help children escape the cycle of poverty.
Poverty is a cycle that affects not only children but families as well. Children who grow up in impoverished households are more likely to be poor themselves as adults, perpetuating the cycle. That’s why DSWD helps children escape this cycle by providing them with skills training and livelihood opportunities so they can earn money for their families and become financially independent.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where is the DSWD AMOR Village located?
The DSWD AMOR Village can be located in San Francisco East, Anao, Tarlac.
2. How many children can the DSWD AMOR village accommodate?
As of this writing, the AMOR Village in Region III has a bed capacity of 80, but the community is located in an 8,002-square-meter lot. It has nine buildings within its premises.
3. Who are the children who can be taken in the village?
The children who can be taken in the village are those with mental disabilities (e.g. retardation, autistic, blind, have cerebral palsy, multiple disabilities, seizure disorders) and children in conflict with the law.
4. How does the program implement its services to meet the children’s needs?
Those who are able to attend school are sent to nearby public schools by a house parent. Meanwhile, special education services, as well as alternative learning systems, are provided by DepEd and NGOs to teach children in an informal setting within the village.
5. What facilities are available to the AMOR Village children?
The AMOR Village has a library, playroom, special education classroom, psychology, and therapy room and dormitories for boys and girls.
6. Is the village only for those from the region?
Although Amor Village started out as a shelter for Tarlac’s street children, it has since become a national center for caring for homeless children from all over the country.
7. What happens to children taken in the AMOR Village?
Social worker Rowena Apolto says at least 60 percent of the children in their care would probably live there permanently. She attributes this to factors such as the difficulty of tracking down their parents and relatives, and of getting communities to accept or adopt children with special needs.
Apolto added that each child in their care has a unique story. Some were taken to the center by other child care centers of the DSWD or by private institutions. The center uses social work interventions like counseling and case work to prepare the child for family reunification and community reintegration.
8. Where does the AMOR Village get its funding?
While the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Tarlac provincial government provide funding for the village, donations to supplement children’s food supply and sponsorship of activities for their rehabilitation are needed.
9. How is care delivered to the children in the facility?
According to Melba Vinluan, the head of the center, they have hired psychologists to help the staff develop treatment plans for the children.
They have also enlisted the help of house parents, including nurses and teachers with experience caring for children.
Activities at the center are designed to provide a therapeutic environment, and home-life services also accompany them. According to Vinluan, these activities can test the patience and love demonstrated by house parents as they care for their children.
Video: DSWD Region III – AMOR Village
Here’s a video of DSWD Region 3’s Amor Village. It is one of seven centers and residential care facilities being managed by DSWD Region 3, located in Anao, Tarlac, and serving children with special needs, as well as abused and neglected kids.
Despite the agency’s efforts, it still believes that the best thing for all children is to grow up in a safe and caring community.
The DSWD AMOR Village is a great example of how the government is working to improve the quality of life for our country’s children. While there are still many challenges ahead, we’re glad this facility was created and has benefited many children who need it the most.
At the same time, the need for such a facility reminds us that many children still need to be rescued. We hope our readers will continue supporting the DSWD’s efforts by volunteering or donating whenever possible.