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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Austrian Embassy supports Philippine Survivor Network

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Having been known for its strong advocacy for human rights and social justice, the Austrian Embassy Manila supports and provides grant to the Philippine Survivor Network.

Austria’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Johann Brieger and Philippine Survivor Network (PSN) Chairperson, Charito* signed a Grant Agreement for Project BRACE (Building Resilience and Agency through Crafts and Expressive Arts) at the Austrian Embassy.

The agreement covers Austrian Embassy Manila’s commitment to provide a series of therapeutic workshops that will help PSN members explore their emotions and express themselves creatively. PSN members who are survivors of online sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, and commercial sexual exploitation – will engage in three distinct workshops focusing on pottery, photography, and painting, each tailored to enhance their coping skills and promote emotional resiliency. The project aims to harness the transformative power of art to help survivors reclaim their voices and rewrite their narratives.

Charito* (a pseudonym to protect her identity) is a survivor of human trafficking and serves as the Chairperson of the PSN. She said, “This is a historic moment for the Philippine Survivor Network as this is the first grant we are receiving directly as a network. I am honored to receive it on behalf of the PSN, especially because it is a project that I and my fellow survivor leaders really need today. It will help us continue healing from our trauma triggers, which would help us advocate for further protection from, and prevention of, online sexual exploitation of children and other forms of human trafficking.” With the guidance of experts from IJM, PSN will also be able to exercise and enhance their project and grant management skills as they implement Project BRACE.

The Austrian Embassy is the PSN’s first grant-funding partner since the network was launched in February 2023.

“Through this project, we express Austria’s commitment to amplifying survivor voices and its inherent patronage of the arts—and how it’s possible to combine those passions to powerfully impact public understanding of online sexual exploitation and the larger issue of human trafficking. We look forward not only to the art that would come out of this, but also to the positive impact this will have for survivor leaders from the PSN,” remarked Ambassador Johann Brieger.

Art from the workshops will be displayed for public viewing in digital and physical spaces.

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