WATCH: A fearless woman, a caring social worker

Growing up, did you ever dream of one day saving children?

Shahrima did, and she’s been doing it for over 20 years now as a social worker.

Since 1996, she has been working at the Department of Social Welfare and Development, detailed in Mindanao.

On the job, she has witnessed years of armed conflict. Her latest assignment is for the Marawi crisis response.

Day and night, rain or shine, Shahrima and her team visit evacuation centers, daycare centers, schools, and homes to listen to the needs of displaced families.

Shahrima is among the many social workers and government workers Save the Children regularly cooperates with.

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Healing wounds

“Based on psychosocial interventions, usually the children’s writings are about the Marawi crisis,” Shahrima said in Filipino, explaining the results of their writing and art activities for displaced children.

“Some children seem traumatized,” she continued. “Some draw bombs and their houses that were bombed.”

Overall, the Marawi crisis has affected around 80,000 children.

These children have heard and seen things no child should ever experience. They need immediate and continuous psychosocial support.

Save the Children is among the government and non-government organizations providing psychosocial support for Marawi’s children. We’re also giving hygiene and education assistance.

As for parents, the veteran social worker advise them to hug their children and to properly explain the situation.

“Nothing really compares to a parent’s embrace,” she shared. “Tell your children that this conflict will also end.”

We want to thank all the tireless and selfless social workers like Shahrima, as well as the health workers, local government workers, volunteers, donors, government and non-government groups working together to uplift the lives of displaced families. 

Together, let's save Marawi's children.