The Division of City Schools, Pasay City opens its door in partnership with GEMS Heart Outreach Development, Inc. and ASMAE Philippines through its GRACED (Gender-Responsive Actions Towards Community Empowerment and Development) Project. The project launching was held on January 28, 2021 at Padre Zamora Elementary School Conference Room, Zamora St., Pasay City.

The activity started with the registration of participants. A short program commenced with a Prayer and National Anthem by Gems Heart Rondalla. The participants were welcomed by the Gems Heart President, Ms. Corazon Buenasflores. It was followed by an inspirational message from Dr. Loreta B. Torrecampo, CESO V. Ms. Carol Estueta then discussed the details of the project. A reaction from Mr. Michael Bismar and the participants were also solicited after the presentation. The activity ended through commitment setting which was facilitated by Gems Heart President.

The launching was graced by the Schools Division Superintendent, Dr, Loreta B. Torrecampo, CESO V; Ms. Corazon Buenasflores, GEMS Heart Outreach Dev’t., Inc. President; ASMAE Country Representative, Mr. Michael Bismar; SDO Pasay GAD Coordinator, Dr. Bernardita A. Perez; Program Manager, Ms. Carol B. Estuesta; School Principals and GAD Focal Persons of Pasay City East High School, Kalayaan National High School and Pasay City South High School, and barangay officials of Barangay 201, 145 and 183.

This project is participated by the abovementioned secondary schools as pilot implementers. It aims to build the capacity of children and youth as agents of change and to strengthen the accountability of duty-bearers (State and non-State actors like civil society organizations) in responding to gender-based violence to and among the children and youth in the Philippines. The call for an enabling environment necessitates the provision of support to improve and promote the total well-being of the young people by major institutions — family, school, government, and church, where young people can access information and service readily.

Furthermore, this project will strengthen the capacity of the youth aged 10-18 years old as agency of change to have collective voice, collective plan and collective action on eliminating gender-based violence at home, in the schools and in the communities.