Dear friends,

The CAMELEON team and myself want to express our support during this tragic period of international health crisis.

Our teams are mobilized to ensure that our beneficiaries, employees, voluntary workers and volunteers are protected and that our programs are carried on in the Philippines and in France.

It is tempting to withdraw and isolate oneself in this period of crisis, but we have to keep on ensuring that the most vulnerable and the children who have experienced sexual violence in particular, are protected. It is possible thanks to you and I hope that you will stay active and united with us now more than ever.

In this context, our office in Paris is closed and our Centers in the Philippines do not receive visitors anymore. Our teams are mostly working from home until further notice. You can still contact us by email (laurenceligier@cameleon-association.org) and by phone on +33 1 43 22 35 92. Your letters will be treated as soon as our office reopens.

In France, our preventive interventions in the schools have been suspended. However, we keep in close contact with the schools, and we continue to elaborate and improve our educational kits on Children’s Rights and Prevention of violence, Equality between girls and boys, and International solidarity, as well as our tools and booklets destined to our supervisors. Our social mission is deploying by focusing our actions on communication via our internet website and social media.

We especially emphasize the high risks of child abuse and domestic abuse that can happen during

this quarantine period because of, as Adrien Taquet rightly states, “a situation that can encourage abuse at home and makes it more difficult to notice it. In normal times, schools can sometimes be a “shelter” for some children, and the members of the Department of Education are the first to signal worrying situations. On average only 1 French person out of 4 declares that they would automatically call 119 on suspicion of child abuse. As a result, we need to be even more vigilant during this confinement period.

In the Philippines, the President has proclaimed a national health emergency for the next 6 months. We are in contact with the local authorities, the French embassy and the Philippine Department of tourism. Our team, as well as the volunteers, continue their daily missions with the CAMELEON children. They are doing everything they can to protect them from this pandemic by adopting strict hygienic and safety measures. The girls, who have already been traumatized by the abuse they have suffered in the past, need care, attention and reassurance. We cannot abandon them, and we are more than ever mobilized.

We also raise awareness amongst the parents and the communities on the precautions they need to follow. Finally, as we have already observed the big impact that former sanitary crises had on women and on girls, we are particularly committed to them. This pandemic will impact even more the vulnerable people who live in countries already affected by poverty and lack of access to care and hygiene. We need to be mobilized even more to provide an emergency assistance to them in the next few months.

This week, the team and the volunteers have organized Olympiad with several sports activities, treasure hunt and other activities for 70 girls who have shown an amazing spirit of initiative…and who have kept on smiling during the whole time!

As Godfathers and Godmothers, you can be reassured that we take extra care to protect your godchildren’s health. Our housemothers have been creating fabric masks with the help of the girls and some sewing machines to allow everyone to protect themselves.

You can continue to follow us on social media and on our website. We will keep you updated.

More than ever, please take care of yourself and the others.

Sincerely and with solidarity,

Laurence LIGIER

Founder Director