Spotlight on Quidan Kaisahan:
The Barangay Council for the Protection of Women and Children
Proves that communities can protect the rights of their children
January 2007. "At my age, I can help my fellow children", testifies 13 year old Arvin Vicenal, a first year high school student at Gil Montilla National High School Extension in Barangay 4 of Sipalay City . Arvin is an officer of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Women and Children (BCPWC) of Barangay 4. He is among 15 formal school students who are actively involved in the child protection programs of the BCPWC.

"Although we are poor," continues Arvin, "I am still fortunate to have parents who would do anything just to send us to school. In my own little way, I believe I must help encourage the other children to go back to school. For poor children like us, education is our only hope for a better future. I also help my teachers monitor my fellow students who are at risk of engaging in child labor."

As a government-mandated local body aimed at protecting the rights and welfare of children, the reduction and prevention of child labor is among the BCPWC’s major objectives.

Building on this legal structure, local NGO Quidan Kaisahan (QK) strengthens the BCPWCs to effectively perform their mandate. QK promotes the expansion of the BCPWC membership performs various trainings, and created a Child Labor Monitoring System. This system guides recruitment for alternative learning classes for out-of-school children and helps identify those in need of counseling.

To date, the BCPWC of Barangay 4 has undertaken several activities:
UPDATE!!! The BCPWC takes the lead role in the implementation of the Barangay’s Child Welfare Plan. Several priority projects listed in the Plan have already started using resources from both the local government and citizens. The improvement of a local school building was made possible through the "bayanihan" ("Community Unity") system where the community members offered materials and their labor for free.
1 Barangay is the smallest local government unit and is the native Filipino term for a village. Cities are composed of groups of barangays.