|Address|| Barangay Sablogon, |
5037 Passi City, Iloilo
|Telefax||+63 (033) 311 55 75|
|Address||Association Cameleon France, 51 rue Daguerre 75014 PARIS|
|Telephone||+33 01 43 22 35 92|
|Contact||Laurence LIGIER, Founder and Director|
CHAMELEON is a Franco-Filipino humanitarian association which since its conception more than ten years ago has as its mission to protect and rehabilitate young Filipina girls who have fallen victim to sexual abuse and exploitation. Most of these girls live in very unfortunate and unstable circumstances and often live in isolation.
Faced with the intolerable, and in an effort to respond to local demand, Laurence LIGIER took the challenge upon herself of coming to these children’s aid. Founded in the Philippines in 1997, the association takes in young girls in its shelter in order to offer them a fresh start at living their childhood. A Filipino team made up of aid workers, surrogate mothers and child psychiatrists bring the children in the shelter the warmth and care they need to grow again. In parallel, the girls benefit from medical, psychological, educational and legal aid – indispensible to their personal, emotional and social growth. Their education is ensured thanks to a program of sponsored schooling. Their parents, in turn, are supported by establishing means for their subsistence and helping them find work.
Chameleon: 12 years of hard work to protect, educate and foster growth in young Filipina girls, fallen from the nest too soon…
* The situation
Philippines, Region of Visayas, Iloilo: 5 million exploited children, 1.5 million children living in the streets, 14 000 children in prison, 100 000 children in prostitution… Work, physical and sexual abuse: young girls are their first victims.
* Our mission
In the face of children’s rights violations and atrocity of abuse, Chameleon’s mission is to act in the full benefit of these young girls, fallen from their nest too young and struggling to survive as a tragic consequence of abandonment and malice.
The association’s principal objective is to reintegrate the young girls fallen victim to sexual abuse and exploitation either in their birth families (if deemed the case by professional assessment) or in their foster families, as well as to fight against child exploitation.
* Three programs
Program to protect and reinsert young girls fallen victim to sexual abuse and exploitation
In Iloilo on Panay Island, two centers have been built to shelter 50 girls aged 5 to 18 years. They usually come from families of 6 to 8 children living well below the poverty line of 1 Euro (60 pesos) per day.
Every girl brought by Chameleon into its shelters has been sexually abused by either her father, uncle, godfather or neighbor. Chameleon’s two shelters give the girls the opportunity to escape their grim situation (rape, incest, exploitation, forced labor, abandonment…). Once given shelter and food, they are enrolled in different institutions for them to start or continue their education. In parallel, they benefit from medical, psychological and legal assistance such as when bringing a case against their aggressors. After three years in the center, the girls are either reintegrated into their families (if deemed appropriate) or put up for adoption.
Community development program
The association has successfully incorporated its rural surroundings into its mission, providing families in extreme poverty with socio-economic support. The objective of this program is to fight child labor, send the children to school, and render the families self-sufficient. Emphasis is placed on professional training programs for the parents, as well as on mini-projects generating revenue for the families. The association is currently sending 127 children (45 boys and 82 girls) to school via an education sponsorship program.
Overall, the association emphasizes education and professional training as means of emancipation and social insertion. Every child is sponsored and schooled until its secondary education is completed. In addition, the association offers social and therapeutic activities, such as art, sport or the circus.
Resource mobilization program
Chameleon has introduced a program to create and maintain resources for its beneficiaries.
Establishment of micro projects which help contribute to a regular income for families (these include workshops for jewelry, T-shirts and greeting cards…).
The agricultural farm: the farm was started to provide commodities for Chameleon’s reinsertion center, create a source of profit, and to start a community development program centered on micro-credit for pig farming.
The butterfly garden: A protected environment open to tourists and students in the region, the garden is a natural habitat for about twenty different butterfly species, as well as a large variety of exotic plants.
The learning center: A complex surrounded by nature, to be rented out for seminars and conferences. The center also acts as a center for professional training for the young girls and parents under Chameleon’s care. In addition, it offers housing space for volunteers coming from abroad.
A recognized effort
Since its creation, the association has consistently performed at a 98% success rate – a nice reward that has been accompanied by several prestigious distinctions, both French and foreign, in recognition of Laurence LIGIER’s dedication to Filipino children.
Laurence LIGIER received the French national award for community involvement and devotion (Le Prix de Civisme et de Dévouement) from the President of the Republic of France, M. Jacques CHIRAC, as well as the Honorary Medal (Médaille d’Or) from the town of Chalon/Saône.
In October 2008, she received the distinction of merit of Knight of the French National Order of the Legion of Honor (Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite).
It was on December 20, 2008, that she accepted with pride and emotion the presidential distinction of exception from the President of the Philippines, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, awarded to foreigners making a significant contribution to the development of the country.
If you wish to support us, become a volunteer or receive additional information, do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website at www.cameleon-association.org