The second Diploma course of the Safeguarding Minors conducted in the Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia (ICLA) in collaboration with the Centre for Child Protection (CCP), Gregorian University, Rome was concluded on 11 May 2019 in Quezon City, Philippines. Fr. Prisco Cajes OFM, the Director of ICLA gave away the Diploma certificates and Fr. James Kannanthanam CMF, the Project Manager commissioned 24 participants of the course as advocates of protection of minors in their respective countries.
The participants were hailing from different countries – Vietnam, Myanmar, Nigeria, Cameron, Bangladesh and Philippines. The Institute started this program in 2017 in order to collaborate in the efforts of the universal church to disseminate information and create awareness on the issue of the sexual abuse of children and create a safer environment for children and the vulnerable adults in the Church and society.
The vulnerability of children to various abuses being one of the major concerns in Asia and Africa, the course focused on this problem in the society at large than the issue of clerical sexual abuse of the children.
The second course started on 13 October 2018 with an open-to-all one-day Seminar guided by Fr. Shay Cullen and team of Preda Foundation, an Organization doing yeomen service of Recovery, Empowerment and Development Assistance for children in Philippines. The course was conducted through a number of classroom seminars (25) on every Saturday from October to May and following the dynamics of the online CCP program. The participants were priests, Religious, and lay people.
As the Institute for Consecrated Life for Asia is at the service of higher learning for theology of Consecrated life, there are students from various countries who can also become promoters of the protection of minors in those countries they come from or assigned to. Centre of Child Protection, Gregorian University, by training Project managers, professors and availing course materials online facilitates and provides a platform for this service. ICLA would continue to take lead in promoting the rights and protection of children by offering courses and training committed agents of this noble cause especially in Philippines and East Asia.
—Fr. James Kannanthanam cmf