Sending hope to quake-affected children through schoolbags and psychosocial activities

Makilala, North Cotabato – Smiles and excitement were painted in the faces of around 520 children staying in an evacuation center when they heard that they will receive a schoolbag with school supplies in it.

These children, who are in kindergarten and primary school, are displaced with their families after a series of strong earthquakes hit the province in October. All of them are staying inside makeshift tents and they are also learning inside temporary learning spaces made of light wooden materials and tents.

“This is a good relief for them,” shared a teacher who is assigned in the temporary school. “It is not easy for these children to cope with their new environment but assistance like this somehow gives them hope knowing that they are not alone in this difficult journey.”

The students who received the school bags also joined the 1st of 10 Child-friendly Space (CFS) sessions where they participate in fun and age-appropriate psychosocial activities. The CFS activity is funded by Aktion Deutschland Hilft (ADH).

“A lot of these children are still reeling from the distress caused by the disaster. These spaces are necessary for them to come in terms with their experiences and be able to express themselves through play, arts, music, and even dance,” says response manager, Franklyn Salindato. “Thank you, ADH for supporting these children.”

Sending hope to quake-affected children through schoolbags and psychosocial activities
World Vision started its relief phase response in early November. With assistance from sponsors, the organization is able to give various relief items to 1,300 families or 7,397 individuals. World Vision has also provided psychosocial support to a total of 4,728 children. Simultaneously, the organization is also implementing cash programming to provide cash assistance and livelihood.

However, there’s still a long way to go before the displaced people get their normal life back. In one camp, the evacuees are expecting to stay in their temporary homes for months after their entire village was buried by a quake-triggered landslide. According to the latest Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) report, there are still 8,666 families staying in 67 evacuation sites in Regions XI and XII.

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