The Catholic Church, through Caritas Manila, is planning to provide livelihood programs to help Marawi victims get back on track
MANILA, Philippines (Aug. 2, 2017) — The Catholic Church has been one of the most active sectors in sending aid to Marawi victims. Its humanitarian, development, and advocacy arm Caritas Philippines, or the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA), donated P10 million pesos in July to internally displaced victims.
In partnership with the Diocese of Marawi and Iligan, Caritas Manila will also be doing its part by giving a total of P2 million ($39,710) donation in cash and in kind and is furtherly looking at allocating more funds on rehabilitation efforts.
According to Caritas Manila executive director Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual, they want to focus on rehabilitation through providing livelihood programs, aside from sending relief goods to Marawi and Iligan City.
A total of 78,466 families or 359,680 persons have been internally displaced by the armed conflict in Marawi City as of July 31, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“Aside from the usual food, apparel, and medicines, kailangan po nila ay livelihood to go back to their normal lives,” Pascual said at the Pandesal Forum, held by Radio Veritas on Wednesday, August 2.
(Aside from the usual food, apparels, and medicines, what they need is livelihood for them to go back to their normal lives.)
Radio Veritas will launch a news and public service program called “Pandesal Forum sa Veritas” on August 17 to address different concerns like the Marawi conflict.
Pascual said that they can possibly help people in Marawi through retail businesses.
“They want to go back to retail business because a lot of these Maranaoans are more retail sellers but we still have to finalize and do a project study on how we go about the support and livelihood.”
Aside from aid and recovery, Pascual encourages different groups and organizations to partner with them in giving vocational-technical and college scholarships to the youth in Mindanao.
He added the church wants to help the poor help themselves.
“The problem in Mindanao is poverty, and war is only the effect of a much deeper problem which is poverty. We have to address poverty. All of us, all sectors – civil society, church, government, and business.”
The youth is one of the most affected when it comes to the armed conflict in Mindanao. To some extent, some kids from Marawi even treat the members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as heroes.
“We have to address poverty by giving opportunity to the people, especially the youth. We have to save the youth,” Pascual said.
People can donate cash and goods through the information provided in Caritas Manila’s website and Facebook page.