Longer-serving members of RC Calvía International will remember Karl Homberg, who was a very active participant and still is a great supporter of our club.
Time and health considerations now restrict his visits, but we are fortunate to have him with us now and again on exceptional events. He has the delightful custom of reminding us he’s still around by an occasional present of the most excellent confectionary, a practice which has earned him the sobriquet of ‘The Chocolate Man’.
His wife Liz is the most energetic and vibrant person you are liable to meet in a very long days trek. For quite a few years now, she has spearheaded a vital project in defence of children, both preventing and handling the atrocious effects of sexual abuse. It’s called RANA. Liz is relentless in her fight against this pernicious social disease.
A little while ago, our club was able to make a small contribution to RANA specifically to help with a new Blue Book for young children which RANA was producing. I recently had the opportunity of contacting Liz to get an update of how things were going. Here is her response.
As I’m sure you know, Peter, Kate has been instrumental over many years in support of RANA’s mission to prevent child sexual abuse. When Kate and I were discussing this topic with the Club years ago, no one knew this problem really existed and certainly not at the level of the current statistics, one in every five children. It’s shocking, but this is our reality, and I’m delighted that your club has an awareness now and continues to support us.
Fundación RANA (Red de Ayuda a Niños Abusados) started their overall Prevention work in 2008, training teachers and professionals in workshops to detect, respond to, and prevent child sexual abuse. We soon realised the urgent need for prevention directly in the classrooms. We discovered a children’s book, “Estela Grita Muy Fuerte” in 2009, which became the core element of RANA’s Prevention Program for children aged 6 to 11. These children, among other tools, learn to trust their instructs, say no, and are taught to call for help.
To date, more than 30.000 children in the Baleares have participated in this program, and thousands of teachers, parents and professionals have been given the information they need in order to detect and act upon suspicions and knowledge of abuse. A recent article in El Mundo declared the Baleares as the community with the highest rate of detection for child sexual abuse. RANA is the reason for that as we are breaking the silence and children are speaking about what is happening. Yes, the programs are effective, and we are asked each year by the schools, many of them in Calvia, to present the program again and again.
This year, RANA sought sponsors to publish the next edition of the book, Estela, and Rotary Club Calvia International, as well as Balear House, were the two main sponsors. We are grateful to both organisations for publishing this edition and are proud to have your logos presented with ours. The books can be purchased at our office at Bonaire 16, 3rd floor, in Palma or contact me directly and I will get them to you at the meeting.
If you asked what else RANA needs to keep this project going, I would say sponsorship for our ongoing Pilot Project for children ages 4 to 6. It is a spectacular new program in development and these little kids really “get it”. We do not speak directly about sexual abuse, but we help make it very clear which parts are private and where is it OK to touch and also how to feel their feelings/instincts. It’s very exciting work.
All the best, Liz
Attached is the write-up, in Spanish, for the Cuenta Cuentos Program as well as the overall Prevention Program.