Save the Children Philippines, together with Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd and Insular Foundation Inc., has launched the “Balik-Marawi, Balik Eskwela” project for displaced school age children in support of the government’s rehabilitation of the conflict-stricken province, one year after the end of hostilities.
Lawyer Albert Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines, said hundreds of families still live in tents and children miss out on school, even after the lifting of hostilities in Marawi.
The agreement was signed by Muyot and Insular Life’s Nina D. Aguas and Mona Lisa B. de La Cruz on Oct. 17, one year after the end of the Marawi siege.
The four-month project worth P1.9 million runs from October 2018 to February 2019. It facilitates purchase of school materials such as teacher’s tables, children’s armchairs and teacher kits for Early Childhood Care and Development and implementation of interventions.
Muyot said humanitarian assistance is still very much needed particularly by children who need to return to school.
“Save the Children Philippines stands ready to help in rebuilding the war-stricken city,” he said.
The project targets 1,000 displaced school age children in Marawi and those attending schools in Lanao del Sur to have access to safe and equipped learning spaces.
“The project aims to provide the most basic supplies and furniture for children to be able to continue their education in environments that are conducive for learning,” said Muyot.
Save the Children Philippines has continued humanitarian and development assistance to displaced families in Marawi through its program office in Iligan City which opened last year.
At least 86,000 children were affected by the siege with an estimated 22,700 of them still missing out on their classes, according to the Child Protection Rapid Assessment (CPRA) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“The conflict has left scars to hundreds of children that are difficult to heal,” said Muyot. He said that the DSWD report cited the psychological impact of humanitarian crises on children.
Children trapped in conflict suffer from psychological stress, sleeping problems, nightmares, withdrawal, lack of focus and feelings of guilt, the report said.