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Bangsamoro Human Wellness Center

The Bangsamoro Human Wellness Center (BHWC), or UnYPhil Center, is the flagship program of UnYPhil-Women. It is envisioned as a self sustaining psycho-social service center for women and girls in conflict-based / violence-based trauma caused by repeated armed  conflict between the military forces and MILF, by inter-clan feuds or rido cases, rape cases and other related cases that debases the rights and dignity of the Bangsamoro women. The center serves as the venue for the client to regain their social functionality through psychosocial activities with the help of the house-parent, the volunteers and other staff in the center. The main objective is to prepare the client-survivor psychologically and emotionally for social reintegration.

Front view of Bangsamoro Human Wellness Center

Vision

The center serves as temporary shelter for women who were victims of VAWC and other women in especially difficult circumstances, capable of providing home life and basic services, enhancing their potentials, eventually returning them to their respective families or relatives to live a normal life and become productive and contributing member of the community.

Goal

For the person to develop a positive attitude and behavior towards a better life and to return to normalcy with their family, with improved ability to cope with their needs and problems.

Objectives

  • To provide temporary shelter, including food, clothing and other basic needs;
  • To develop a sense of responsibility and potentials as a person;
  • To provide opportunity for livelihood skills training and income generating activities;
  • To care and protect women for further hazard from the violence.

Embassy of Japan Minister for Economic Affairs Akio Isomata (4th from right) together with (from left to right) Major Hamdiah bin Hashim of the International Monitoring Team (IMT), Mr. Rasid Ladiasan of MILF-CCCH, BDA Executive Director Mohammad Shuaib Yacob, IMT Head of Mission Major General Datuk Baharom Bin Hamzah, Major Carlos Sol of GPH-CCCH, Program Director of UnYPhil Women Ms. Noraida Abo, and Mr. Naoyuki Ochia, Embassy of Japan First Secretary and Senior Advisor on Reconstruction and Development of Mindanao (photo courtesy of Zambotimes and the Japanese Embassy to the Philippines)

BHWC Management Committee

UnYPhil-Women, Inc. created a Management Committee for the UnYPhil Center. This is composed of:

  1. The Operations Manager,
  2. The Deputy Manager,
  3. The Front Desk Officer,
  4. The Crisis Intervention Officer, and
  5. Service Care Givers.

Most of the BHWC staff are Social Workers.

Services:

The UnYPhil Center provides a range of services that offer help, hope and healing to women and children, adults and families in our community, including treatment intervention, abuse and violence prevention education, counseling,  and abuse and trauma-specific therapy. This service package empowers people by providing a supportive, healing environment that encourages growth and change.  It is designed, staffed and equipped to provide comprehensive and coordinated treatment services.  Every effort is made to provide a comfortable, private, child and adult friendly setting that is both physically and psychologically safe for diverse populations.

Crisis Assessment Desk. This desk assesses clients, whether walk-in or from referrals. This is where documentation/recording of client’s history, and assessing needs requirements as basis for possible intervention. The desk officer shall keep all records at the database and keep on file with confidentiality where access to it shall be anchored on outlined statutes and existing policies re: the right to privacy.

Human Wellness Development Package. Psycho-Social Services- Trauma Counseling, Social Integration, Play Therapy sessions, Personality Development, Life Skills Enhancement and Referral to Clinical Requirements. It involves intervention in terms of social, spiritual, and intellectual growth.

Community Psycho-Social Outreach.  This program is an extension service to displaced persons in communities or evacuation centers who are experiencing sub-human conditions due to armed-conflicts.

Embassy of Japan - JICA-J-BIRD billboard

The beneficiaries/clientele.

The UnYPhil Center aims to respond to the existing phenomena concerning largely undocumented issues involving women and children in the province of Maguindanao, which was for a span of time have been uncared for and adversely impacted by other societal issues in the province because of the lack of an available psycho-social facility that handles their needs and concerns.

In Maguindanao Province a number of cases related to violence against women and their children were heard and were not attended out of other issues being faced by the province and the various support groups. The UnYPhil-Women have seen the issue that needs to be responded based on the organizations mandate and services that uplift and advocates bangsamoro women’s rights in the realm of peace and development.

The center is design to provide service to walk-in clients, referrals, and community psycho-social outreach activities and sessions administered by trained social workers and trained clinical advisers of the center. Scope of clientele covers victims of domestic violence, prostitution, sexual assault and abuse, victims traumatized by conflict and other social and psychological violence preempted by critically challenged social environment. Confinements of clientele depend on the recommendations of social workers and clinical advisers. Through UnYPhil-Women’s partner organizations, the Center could also provide clients with legal and para-legal services, or referrals of the same.

Embassy of Japan's Economic Minister Akio Isomata (right side) and Bangamoro Development Agency Executive Director Mohammad Shuaib Yacob unveiling the building marker of the UnYPhil Center (photo courtesy of Zambotimes and the Japanese Embassy to the Philippines)

The  construction of the UnYPhil Center was implemented under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development, or J-BIRD. This program was launched by the Government of Japan in December 2006 as part of its commitment to support peace and development efforts in Mindanao.

The UnYPhil Center is considered the first of its kind in the Province of Maguindanao. Abused women and girls now have a  facility that is accessible where their needs can be addressed. The center will provide counseling, livelihood skills training, temporary accommodation, and protection of women experiencing special conditions and violence.

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