Child-focused aid organization World Vision began its relief operations last June 8, 2017 after more than 200,000 people were forced to flee the city of Marawi in Mindanao.

The relief items include hygiene kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, undergarment for men and women, bath soap, laundry soap, sanitary pads, nail cutter, malong or tube skirt) and non-food items like blanket, mosquito net and plastic mat. The distribution catered to those who are in evacuation centres and the home-based (those living with relatives) internally displaced families in Sta. Elena, Iligan City.

“We have started distributing relief items to at least 1,000 families today. It is heart breaking and heart-warming at the same time but knowing that there are people standing with them brings them so much hope and comfort,” shares Associate Director for Operations Jocelyn Mariscal.

The clash started on May 23 after the Philippine Army conducted a raid operation in Marawi City where an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader was hiding. The government forces were met by gunfire coming from ASG’s local armed allies the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Maute group. This escalated to a massive firefight causing 175 deaths and displacing thousands of people. The still on-going clash has also affected 132 schools and more than 22,000 school children, said Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (ARMM-HEART).

World Vision hopes to reach at least 10,000 people or 2,000 families. In the next days, child-friendly spaces will also be set up in two evacuation centres to provide psychological first aid to the children affected by the conflict.

The Child Friendly Spaces created by World Vision are designed to let the children play and have the opportunity to interact with other children. It helps to provide an opportunity for children to express themselves through art, play and also to connect with other children facing similar distressing experiences.

World Vision is now in close coordination with the Department of Education to provide 10 schools with Temporary Learning Centres (TLCs) and 18, 000 learner’s kits for the students.

“We thank all the donors and sponsors who have supported us in responding to the needs of the affected children and their families. We also continue to appeal for support as World Vision continues to work with the government and other humanitarian actors in providing aid to the people of Marawi,” says Acting National Director Rommel Fuerte.

To extend your help to the people displaced by Marawi crisis, visit www.worldvision.org.ph/help-people-marawi or call 372-77-77, for more information.

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