Save Marawi's Children

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(UPDATED, as of October 23, 2017) – The Philippine government announced on October 23 that fighting in Marawi City is officially over.

The declaration came after 5 months of armed conflict.

As Marawi's children begin to reclaim peace and normalcy in their childhoods, let's continue to support and empower them. 

In times of conflict, children suffer the most.They lose their homes, schools, families, and at worst – their childhood.

Around 80,000 children were affected by the Marawi crisis. 

Help us empower all of Marawi’s children as they rebuild their lives and communities. Your donation will change a child’s life.

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Displaced by conflict

In May 23, Marawi City made headlines as government forces and a local armed group clashed.

Bullets were exchanged and several properties were damaged – including homes, roads, hospitals, and schools. 

As of September 5, 12 municipalities have been declared safe, but the number of displaced individuals remain the same at nearly 360,000.

They have been displaced from a hundred barangays (villages). (WATCH: Giving birth in a time of crisis)

Families are now staying in evacuation centers or with relatives or friends. 

Currently, there are 75 evacuation centers open. (WATCH: Where is home?)

Due to the surge of IDPs, some evacuation centers are becoming underserved and crowded. 

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Children living in fear 

Children need immediate psychosocial support. (WATCH: 'We can't hear anything but gunshots')

Many are still frightened when they hear sirens and loud sounds, which they relate to possible aerial strikes. 

They are starting to live in constant fear, with a decreasing sense of normalcy. (WATCH: This mom won't let conflict tear families apart)

Children are also too scared to leave their parents, afraid of being separated – especially in case bombings happen again.

There are children who cry and shake when they see anything resembling military, trucks, and uniforms.

They are showing signs of psychological distress, which is a normal reaction during abnormal situations. (WATCH: Walked for 6 hours just to escape)

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Disrupted education 

More than 60,000 learners were displaced from both public and private schools.

There are also around 1,411 displaced teachers.  

Quality of education in schools with huge number of enrollees is at risk. (WATCH: A boy forced to leave home)

Children lack uniforms, learning materials, and armchairs.

Host schools also need more and level-appropriate teachers.

On top of these challenges, there's also a need to ensure that transferee students don't feel discriminated. Language sensitivity is important both in schools and evacuation centers. 

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Children's health

Some evacuation centers lack clean and safe bathrooms, with poorly maintained portalets shared by hundreds.

As of September, main health concerns are include respiratory infections and skin diseases.

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Our response 

Whatever happens, a child’s education should never be disrupted. And one’s childhood should never be cut short.

Save the Children is providing education, protection, hygiene, and psychosocial support for Marawi’s children:

  • Back-to-School Kits
    We distributed 3,000 kits.

  • Teacher Learning Kits
    To facilitate learning of children using the Temporary Learning Spaces.

  • Hygiene Kits
    We distributed 3,000 kits for school-age children.

  • Temporary Learning Spaces
    To accommodate the surge of enrolled displaced children, we have set up 25 TLS in 14 host schools, which can accommodate 40-45 children each. Each space is equipped with learning kits and teaching aids. More will be dispatched in the coming days.

  • Child-Friendly Spaces
    Here, children can safely play and rest.

  • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support 
    To address the distressful experiences of children and teachers.

  • Early Childhood Care and Development Kits
    To support the schooling needs of children under 5 years old.

 

Save the Children is especially concerned with how conflict impacts children’s mental and emotional well-being. Children exposed to such violence need our care and support.

We’re providing protective spaces where children can freely study, play, and go back to normalcy through psychological first aid. (WATCH: Children who keep us going)

Our team is continuously assessing children’s needs through active dialogue. We are also coordinating with the DepEd and local partner organizations to ensure the protection of Marawi's children. 

Together, let's save Marawi's children! Your donation of any amount goes a long way. 

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