He goes wherever disasters strike.
May it be a typhoon, an earthquake, a disease outbreak, or any conflict situation, he’s there.
He is Mojahid, an engineer and a humanitarian.
For years, Mojahid has travelled across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to address the needs of children in times of emergencies.
Before he was able to do this, however, he was just like the children he’s helping today.
“Since I was a child, we were in and out of evacuation centers,” Mojahid said in Filipino. “I grew up in Mindanao and there were several armed conflicts.”
Today, Mojahid is an Emergency Response Officer at Save the Children Philippines. A couple of years back, he was a boy on the run from armed conflict. (WATCH: A millennial, a humanitarian, and the children who keep him going)
“One of my most unforgettable memories in the evacuation center was in 2003 during the all-out war in the Islamic center,” Mojahid shared.
“That was our longest say in an evacuation center,” he continued. “And that’s also when my family got separated.”
That time, Mojahid was supported by an international non-government organization. His childhood experiences, as well as the support he received encouraged Mojahid to finish his studies.
Soon after, the young engineer opted to work for non-government organizations.
“I’ve always wanted to be a humanitarian worker,” explained Mojahid. “Because if we look back at my life experiences as an evacuee, this aspiration really came from somewhere deep.”
Mojahid’s latest assignment is the Marawi crisis response.
The clashes between a local armed group and government forces has displaced around 360,000 individuals since it began in May 2017.
More than three months since the conflict began, nearly 80,000 children are affected. They lost their homes, schools, and childhoods.
Mojahid ensures that these children’s needs are addressed. He also makes sure that children’s voices are heard.
He checks and monitors children staying in evacuation centers, as well as displaced students enrolled in host schools. (WATCH: A class president's dream for Marawi's children)
Aside from kids, Mojahid also works with displaced parents teachers, schools, local governments, social workers and health workers.
“For me the most difficult part [of my job] is to be deployed like this, for many months,” Mojahid admitted.
“There’s not much rest, no weekends,” he added. And yet Mojahid swears that he would never working as a humanitarian.
“It feels very fulfilling to help people in need because you’ll really see the happiness among children,” he said.
“This relieves all the stress from working for several days. You no longer feel tired because you see them happy.”
Together, let’s save Marawi’s children.
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