Philippines Uncategorized

Story from the Philippines – Shadows of war in Maguindanao

Raida is a 28 years old woman from Philippines. She lives with her husband, their two children and is expecting a third one in the coming months. Her family, together with hundred others in the region, has been forced to flee their home, in barangay Kilalan, Talitay, Maguindanao, because of the presence of armed groups. For the moment, the family found a temporary shelter in the adjacent barangay of Kakar, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Raida’s husband has been abducted by armed men for 15 days but is now back with his family. Even while staying in an evacuation centre, Raida doesn’t eat much and still has trouble sleeping, she is extremely worried about her husband’s situation. Now, Raida depends on her parents but they can hardly provide their basic needs, and, the DSWD provided food pack only once. “My children are taking a bath without any soap, they don’t have toothpaste, I can’t afford to buy those simple things because my priority, with the little money I have, is to buy food. When the rain came, we were showered by the rain and just sat inside our tent, waiting for the rain to stop. I am very thankful to ACTED for coming and providing us the hygiene and shelter repair kits. It helped us to fix our tent. It’s been more than 2 weeks since I received various essential items, such as bath and laundry soap as well as toothpaste and others things, and I still have some left thanks to the large amount provided” Raida described.

Raida stays positive, she hopes that they will soon be able to go home and to get back to their normal lives. “We don’t need war, we need to work and earn money to live our daily lives, we are poor, we need support from our government. We are affected by a conflict we don’t want, a conflict we never asked for. All I want is for my children to live a normal live without conflict or displacement”, Raida concluded with tearing eyes.