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posted this in Others on Friday, July 21, 2017

Goducate helps rehabilitate gangsters in Iloilo, Philippines

Project B.O.N.G. (Bringing Order to the Nemesis of Gangs) 2040 is a programme launched by the Iloilo City Police Office to address problems faced by youth gangs. The aim is to turn these gang members into good citizens.

Goducate has become a partner of Project B.O.N.G. Goducate addresses the physical and emotional needs of the gang members through regular basketball sessions, small-group counselling, and camps.

Fun Activities

Fun Activities

The first camp for the first batch of gangs was held on April 27-28 at Goducate Training Center (GTC) in Iloilo. It was attended by 53 gang members and 15 policemen. After a series of regular meetings, different gangs united to form a group called United Gangsters of Iloilo.  They elected officers to ensure continuity of the program.  The group hopes to see its members completely changed, to become productive members of society.

The second Project B.O.N.G. Youth Camp was held on July 15-16, again in GTC.  The theme of the camp was “Building the Youth for a Better Tomorrow”.  It was attended by 84 youths who make up the 4 major gangs in Iloilo City.  22 individuals from Iloilo City Police Office and from the Women and Children Protection Desk also attended the event.  Apart from games and small-group counselling, the campers attended lectures that were designed to address the issues that youths are facing—for example, drug addiction, peer relationships and pressures, and moral nourishment and growth.

PC Supt Cesar Hawthorne Binag, Regional Director of the Police Regional Office 6, graced the event and gave his inspirational message. He encouraged and connected with the youth by sharing his personal journey on achieving his dreams and career goals.

Inspirational message by RD Binag

Inspirational message by RD Binag

The elected officers of the United Gangsters of Iloilo took their oath during the camp.

oath taking of officers

oath taking of officers

The feedback from the campers was good, because they felt empowered.  The fellowship between gangs was restored because friendship between them was established.  The president of the United Gangsters of Iloilo said, “I support this camp because it’s a great help for us, especially to the minors.”

*Our guest writer is Joanna De Leon, a community development worker

 

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