Marawi City residents from all walks of life fled to the neighboring cities after the Islamic State-inspired Maute terror group forcibly occupy their city.
The refugees seek shelter with their relatives. A Maranao family custom is a close-knit one, even a third or fourth degree relative is considered a part of the family. The “bakwits” we see on the evacuation centers are mostly the poorest of the poor, and whose relatives also couldn’t provide assistance for them.
Our high school batchmates decided to pool finances, resources and effort to donate to the displaced residents. Because of this, I was given the chance to photograph them.
The following photos below were taken in two evacuation hubs in Barangays Maria Cristina and Buruun in Iligan City.
This is where the evacuees take a shower and wash their laundry.
Several NGOs and volunteers are posted to provide immediate help for the refugees.
The refugees are mixed of Muslims and Christians, but mostly the former.
This is the basketball gym of Barangay Maria Cristina (Fuentes) turned into a temporary shelter for Marawi City displaced residents.
These boys missed doing this in school, so they had to do it in cramped and stuffy room.
The Marawi kids doing their art and drawing session inside the cramped and stuffy dressing room at the back of the stage in a basketball gym in Barangay Maria Cristina in Iligan City.
The children submitted their drawings to a CFSI volunteer. CFSI is the acronym for Community and Family Services International. According to their website, “CFSI is a humanitarian organization committed to peace and social development, with a particular interest in the psychosocial dimension. The purpose of CFSI is rebuilding lives. Based in the Philippines, CFSI works internationally, primarily but not exclusively in the Asia and Pacific Region.”
These kids are waiting for their names to be called. They will receive notebooks, papers and other school supplies.
My high school batch are giving the notebooks and papers to the children of Marawi City.
It appears these obviously happy kids from Marawi City have psychologically recovered from the trauma brought about by the war perpetuated by the Maute group.
The children are attentively waiting for their names to be called.
A grateful student refugee receives her donation consisting of notebooks, papers and pens.
A CFSI volunteer listening to a woman wearing a traditional Islamic garment.
The foremost needs of the refugees are listed in this Manila paper, after a consensus. One need that was already provided for, that drew a few laughs is the “conjugal room” for married couples. I missed taking a photo of that sign though.
The author of this blog carrying a box of baby diapers.
This is the Barangay Maria Cristina evac center.
The photos below are in a refugee center in the Fisheries School in Barangay Buruun.
The gymnasium inside the School of Fisheries converted into a temporary refugee shelter.
Portalets for the evacuees, provided by DOH (Department of Health).
My high school batchmates wearing green shirts, will be giving the school supplies for the children.
The refugees lining up to get relief goods.
Boxes of school supplies for the grade 4 to 7 students.
Hopefully, at the end of this month some of them would be able to return to their homes, provided it wasn’t damaged by the war.