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Taking action in Japan

OLONGAPO (Mabuhay) : Staff from the PREDA Children’s Rights and Anti-Trafficking Campaign visited Japan during August this year to take part in the annual gathering for young people at The Take Action Academy Camp 2015.

They were sponsored by Free the Children Japan. 

The two who represented PREDA were, Marlyn Capio-Richter, a social worker and paralegal officer, and Glean Victoria, both courageous survivors of human trafficking.

They presented their stories and their work in eradicating as much human trafficking as possible and bringing the criminal organisers of the crime to justice.

The camp, near Osaka in Japan, proved to be a harrowing experience for them, as it involved living in tents in the forest and spending the long dark hours of night without any light.

When they presented their stories and experiences, the young Japanese participants expressed amazement at learning about the extent of child labour and exploitation in the developing countries neighbouring Japan, and especially The Philippines.

Capio-Richter and Victoria described the impact on the Japanese people as being heavy, but said that they learned quickly through the simulation games and various other activities they conducted to teach the important principles and values.

Their hosts told them that they truly appreciated what they had learned as a preparation for their future lives.

The week-long camp left a strong impression on the young Japanese students, who are expected to be more prepared to resist the many temptations facing young people today.

Capio-Richter also participated in an advocacy tour to Washington DC, the United States of America, in  April, where she spoke at a national ecumenical conference on human trafficking in The Philippines.

She did a presentation at the University of Iowa, in Minneapolis, as well as at universities in El Paso and Los Angeles. She recounted her life story of abuse and being a victim of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, as well as how she was rescued by social workers from the PREDA Foundation and found a new life and career as a trained and qualified social worker.