#Duyong Marawi (Mindanao, Philippines): New Relief Operations in Iligan for Marawi Displaced Children and Families

 3 in 1 Relief Operation

It’s hard for anybody to say something about the current updates on actual situation of Marawi City because until this moment no official information disseminated aside from the sanitized reports of the government or the military in particular who was holding the main control of the situation. The practical facts serves as evidence that until today thousands of civilians still on their location in different evacuation centers and host communities dreaming and hoping that one of these days the crisis will end. It’s difficult to detrmine if this period is on the stage of recovery because the IDPs still displaced suffering food shortage, physical/emotional problems and other stresses due to worries not only for their situation but also of what happen to their properties and homes in Marawi City.

In relation with this, the RDRRAC–MIHANDs continously extending its intervention on emergency response thru provision of food packs, hygiene kits and other immediate needs of IDPs, believing that this is not yet the right time for recovery because the IDPs still located in evacuation centers and host communities and recovery only starts if the IDPs returns safely the communities they originated. That’s why, on August 30, 2017 at around 1:30 in the afternoon, the RDRRAC-MIHANDs Relief Distribution Operation (RDO) team arrives at Purok 12C Bayanihan Village, Sta. Elena, Iligan City and provided food packs, hygiene kits and vita meal packs to 48 less-served families. Contents of the food packs includes rice, coffee, brown sugar, salt, soy sauce, canned goods, 3 kinds of vegetables and hot pepper (the favorate appetizer ingredient of Muslim-Maranaw every meal. For the hygiene kits, it also includes bath soap, laundry soap, shampoo, tooth paste, tooth brushes and sanitary napkin for women. Vita meal packs were added as nutrious pack of rice and beans.

During that distribution, not only adults benefited and happy but also children because different types of toys also provided to 150 children with age 0 – 13 years old.

In the other corner of the venue, ear-acupuncture experts of the team have also conducted ear – acu detox to some interested adults in order to relieve from stress and other emotional/physical constraints. 11 individuals acquired the service on ear-acupuncture.

On September 1, 2017 at around 10:00 in the morning, RDRRAC-MIHANDs also distributed a vitameal packs (food) and sanitary napkins to 145 families situated at Lomondot Compound-Baraas, Tubod, Iligan City.

On September 2, 2017 at around 1:00 in the afternoon a relief distribution also conducted at Sitio Kaplag & Olas, Ubaldo Laya, Iligan City serving 16 families with food packs, vita meal packs and hygiene gits.

The relief operation of RDRRAC – MIHANDs still continue in fact, community visits to communities with home-based IDPs and validation of data and immediate needs also on-going. The common primary needs expressed were food and money for other relevant necessities especially that their children already studied where they were situated now.

The relief operations of RDRRAC-MIHANDs mainly relies to generous donors and partners with untiring efforts for resource generations for the purpose.

RDO Team

 Distribution of Toys to Internally Displaced Children

It’s more than three (3) months already no one can say when the displacement of Marawi City people ended considering the fact that they’re still in different evacuation centers and host communities. The longer time they stayed in the so-called “house away from home” resulted to more agonies especially on basic needs to survive. On this situation if adult greatly suffered streeses, negative emotions and fears for their tomorrows, how much more the children because of being young and vvulnerable which feelings and minds could’t understand the situation of living away from homes. Who could answer the unswerable questions of why they left homes and when they go back homes? such as the very common question of a child to the parent, according to a certain IDP.

In order to partly comfort the children, RDRRAC-MIHANDs distributed toys to children ages 2 to 12 years old at Celdran-Tubod, Iligan City on August 24, 2017 and Purok 12C Bayanihan Village, Sta. Elena, Iligan City on August 30, 2017. The toys distributed to in the aforesaid areas were donations from anonimous donors which are children also living in Quezon City, Manila thru RDRRAC-MIHANDs partner organization. Together with the toys are hand writings of Christian children expressing their symphaty to Muslim children of Marawi City thru messages of hope and love.

There were 131 Muslim children benefited with different kinds of toys for boys and girls. Unlike the usual relief distribution activities, the provision of toys to children becomes the most highlighted part of that relief distribution because, not only the adults have excited to receive the food packs & hygiene kits much more the young citizens upon receiving their unexpective gifts from generous children of Quezon City, Manila.

With such significant experience of RDRRAC-MIHANDs intervention especially on children’s concern, it developes the chances to make relief distribution more inclusive not limited to adult IDPs but also to children and may be for the Persons with Dissabilities (PWDs) and the Senior Citizen. But, for the maintime, much better if generous individuals or groups or institutions could be better to extend their capabiilty to help and contribute a little bit of happiness to children by simple giving toys.

For the children in Quezon City, Manila, the recepient of your donated toys, the displaced children of Marawi City and their parents have extended their warmness thanks. The children were very excited upon receipt because it’s more than three (3) months that they could no longer plays their toys which left in their homes in Marawi City and their parents have no chances to buy for new toys considering that foods were the priorities. Thru the toys they have received they’re now enjoy playing each other in spite of displacement from the places where they originated.

This very simple action of children have taught us the spirit of sharing and caring in spite of differences. Bridging relation among young generations thru simple but meaningful symbols of happiness and joy in form of toys but facilitated to adult to think and sometimes behave as children which no one can divide and no boundary define.

RDO Team

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