In 1998, I was appointed by the Director of UNESCO as President of a “world child protection movement” to carry out a global plan of action for the defense and protection of children, soon after a huge child trafficking and pornography ring was discovered and dismantled. Innocence in Danger was born. After a year of fruitful collaboration, I left this organization; UNESCO found its limits. I had to go to meet the victims, their families. To go into the field. Drowning in reports and studies did not seem to advance the daily lives of the victims. I had to be close to them, supporting their struggle first hand. After meeting the victims and their parents, the work beckoned me. After partnering with a number of large child welfare organizations, I decided to build on Innocence in Danger movement and continued 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 thirty volunteers in France who have chosen to pool their efforts. With our team, we pull families out of isolation so that they encounter better than indifference, so that their childhood, life’s most precious time, is more than suffering and distress.
We need to inform 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 abuses, physical, psychological and sexual, are scourges against which we can and we must act. Our children will judge what we have done for them and I would like them to know that when we were put to the test, we did not turn our backs on them and we did not act as if nothing was wrong.
As stated by Doctor 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 whose benefits are the subject of scientific studies in Germany and Colombia. The children we invite during the school holidays enjoy discovering painting, sculpture, photography, animals, nature, which allows their soul and their betrayed and damaged bodies the fundamental elements for 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 Ghandi