Gary Valenciano, UNICEF ambassador, reaches out to children in conflict with law
Cebu City (12 February) -- Popular entertainer and UNICEF national ambassador Gary Valenciano will visit the Cebu City Operation Second Chance Center, a facility for children in conflict with the law on February 3, 2008 at 3:00pm.
Valenciano takes time out from his busy schedule to talk to the children at the center. "Wherever I go, I make sure that I reach out to the most in need. Our children in these centers need us. Sometimes, it takes just one open hand, a knowing smile, and a warm embrace to make them feel that they have a better life to look forward to."
Valenciano has helped UNICEF, government and non-government agencies in lobbying for the passage of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act. Passed in May 2006, the law calls for restorative justice and makes detention a last resort. The law seeks to strengthen various programs for children at risk and in conflict with the law from prevention to rehabilitation to reintegration.
The law alms to prevent children from committing offenses by making community structures ready to respond through counseling, support groups, and other diversion programs.
The Cebu City Operation Second Chance Center is one of very few centers exclusively for children in conflict with the law in the Philippines. It provides a more child-sensitive environment which young offenders do not receive when detained with adult offenders.
Valenciano is celebrating his 25th year anniversary in the entertainment industry. He is also marking his 10th year as UNICEF national ambassador.
As a national ambassador, Valenciano travels to various communities to talk about the rights of children. Since 1998, he has visited remote villages in the Mountain Province, Eastern Samar, Guimaras, and North Cotabato. He also raised funds for victims of emergencies in Bicol and Southern Leyte.
Mr. Valenciano is in Cebu City for a Valentine's Day concert called "His Love|" at the Waterfront Hotel, Lahug, Cebu City. (PIA-7) [top]