In 1998, I was appointed by the Director of UNESCO as President of a “world child protection movement”. The aim was to carry out a global plan of action for the defense and protection of children, after a huge child trafficking and pornography network was discovered and dismantled. This is how Innocence in Danger was born.
After a year of fruitful collaboration, I left UNESCO as the organisation had its limits. I needed to encounter the victims, their families, to go onto the field. Drowning in reports and studies does not help the victims in their daily lives. I had to be closer to them, supporting their struggle first hand. After meeting the victims and their parents, the work beckoned me. I decided to build on Innocence in Danger’s movement and continue to take a stand alongside child victims.
I have been waging this fight, which feels like a crusade, for 17 years. Today, Innocence in Danger has half a dozen offices around the world. We work with a bunch of volunteers who have chosen to pool their efforts. With our team, we pull families out of their isolation, so that their lives, the childhood, life’s most precious time, involves more than just suffering and distress.
We need to inform the public opinion about the fact that children need to be listened to. We are all responsible for the world we leave to our children. I am convinced that physical, psychological and sexual abuses are scourges against which we can, and must, act. Our children will judge what we have done for them. And I would like them to know that when we were facing this situation, we did not turn our backs on them, we did not ignore the problem.
As stated by french doctor, ethologist, neurologist, and psychiatrist. Boris Cyrulnik :
If, beyond situations, we see men, if beyond difficulties, we see potential, then we are on the path of resilience
Convinced of these possibilities, we have set up resilience retreats. Those have been subject to studies in Germany (complete study) and Colombia. The children we welcome discover painting, sculpture, photography, close contact with animals and nature, and many more. This allows their soul, and their betrayed and damaged bodies, to uncover the fundamental elements for their personal reconstruction.
The sociologist Jean Paul Dubois, wrote in “Une vie française”:
These principles: happiness, the taste for life and the search for them are hardly hereditary. We must learn to transmit them to our children through love.
Innocence in Danger is about believing in life, changing opinions and fighting discrimination. It is about investing in our futures and nurturing the potential in every man and woman to be. I am proud to be a part of the life trajectory of all the little unrecognised and unrewarded soldiers that fight a silent battle out of the spotlight.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi