COVID-19 pandemic reminds family of struggles during Marawi armed conflict

Saharah’s family is one of the families of home-based IDPs (internally displaced population) in Marawi City who received sanitation kit from World Vision and KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency).

“It means a lot to us. Since the start of community lockdowns due to COVID-19, my husband could no longer earn income,” she shares.

Saharah’s husband, Abdul, is a tricycle driver, while she is a housewife.

“Your help means we can use whatever little money we have to buy foods for our family, especially for our children” she adds. They have two daughters, 5-year old Princess and 4-year old Asmeerah.


A reminder of the 2017 Marawi armed conflict

“The challenges that we are facing remind me so much of our situation during the armed conflict in 2017. The only difference now is that we are not in an evacuation centre,” shares Saharah.

The Marawi siege has displaced thousands of families, including Saharah’s. For a year, their family has been going to one evacuation centre to another and from one relative’s house to another.

“It was a very difficult time. I was always worrying about my children. Princess was only 2 and Asmeerah was just a baby. We couldn’t provide for their basic needs and that hurt me a lot,” she recalls.

When the family went back to their home a year after, their house was chaos. Most of their things were gone or damaged. They needed to start anew.

“To be honest, we haven’t bounced back yet. We’re just starting, but, here comes COVID-19.”

Her husband used to earn at least Php5000 (USD 100) a month from driving, but, since the pandemic hit the country, they have been relying on aid and support from relatives.

“We are grateful that there are people and organisations like you who are concerned about us. Your help will go a long way, especially in keeping our family protected from COVID-19. I just hope that this pandemic ends soon so we can continue rebuilding our lives,” Saharah ends.

World Vision, with funding from KOICA, continues to distribute sanitation kits that include body soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, face masks, and an information material on health and safety measures, catering to 7900 families or 39,500 individuals in Marawi City. The said partnership is also providing cash assistance to 5,600 families or 28,000 individuals who are still displaced and are staying in transitional shelter.

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