Post-Marawi Siege Projects of #ForMindanao

Over a year since the end of Marawi siege has passed and most of the residents of Lanao Del Sur are still reeling from the effects of the five-month battle between government forces and the ISIL terror group composed of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf Salafi jihadist groups. While the long road to recovery is expected to take years, there are organizations stepping up to the cudgel to help in the rehabilitation of those affected by implementing and supporting various livelihood projects.

tiffany jillian go

One leading organization is called #ForMindanao.

What Is #ForMindanao?

As part of its continuing response to the Marawi crisis, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines through Naawan HELPS, Inc has launched the #ForMindanao campaign supporting projects throughout Mindanao led by Philippine alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchanges, many of whom have already played a crucial role in responding to humanitarian needs in Marawi and surrounding areas.

Some of the on-going projects supported by #ForMindanao includes:

KulturAKO and The Maranao Collectibles By Salika & Jardin

Audrey Trinidad

KulturAKO is a livelihood project which aims to provide job security to locals through a training program teaching the traditional art form of weaving. Aside from economic opportunity, it also aspires to revive the dying culture of “Langkit weaving” in Lanao Del Sur

Today, KulturAKO has partnered with the Maranao Collectibles led by the husband and wife tandem of Salika and Jardin in training university students and out-of-school youths to learn the craft of weaving. In fact, during the Marawi Siege, armed only with improvised weaving tools hastily built in the evacuation center, the couple trained dozens of IDPs (Internally displaced persons) to learn the intricate craftmanship of Langkit.

“Gusto namin mabura sa isip ng mga tao na pag sinabi mo Maranao – sa ngayon – terrorista. Gusto namin ipakita na meron din kaming kultura na ipinagmamalaki,” said Salika Samad.

Palapa sa Lumba

Trish Lim of Woven

“Palapa” is a traditional Maranao dish made of native shallots, chili and ginger. Preparing it involves mixing it all together and beating it to a pulpy texture before cooking it on a low heated pan. It is a popular side dish in the region. In the town of Lumba-Bayabao, Lanao del Sur, where the land is fertile and perfect for farming shallots, #ForMindanao is supporting a group of Maranao women to mass produce this Maranaoan dish.

Koryn Iledan

Today, most of the volunteers are composed of women who are engaging in backyard farming to produce this Maranaoan dish as they start to accept bulk orders online through their Facebook Page Super Lumba.

S.P.E.L.L Peace (Strengthen, Promote and and Encourage  Love and Loyalty for PEACE in BUTIG)

Heidi Manabat

SPELL Peace Project is a project consisting of a series of activities such as Informative Drive Campaign on Peace; Seminar-Workshop on Peace Education & Its Implementation; Tree Planting, Family Day and Expression of Pledge of Commitment that encourages community participation to become active agents of peace.

Peace Crops

“Drop seeds, not bombs” says the members of Peace Crops – a volunteer organization composed of youth and community leaders promoting agro-enterprise development among the youth – especially the ones vulnerable to being recruited by terror groups.

Sophie Gianan

By setting up demo farms in the fertile lands of Marantao, Lanao Del Sur, #ForMindanao and Peace Crops aims to train young people into becoming successful farmers and self-sustained agricultural entrepreneurs.

Sound Intervention for Young Advocates of Peace (SIYAP)

Project “Siyap”, which means “Protection” in Maranao, is a social and livelihood program aimed at helping families of indigent detainees. A detainee can face trial lasting for many years and often leaves behind family members especially their children to become out of school youths. By undergoing training in financial literacy and entrepreneurship, family members of a detainee will find another way to avoid further financial, social and emotional suffering.

Levy Amosin and Gretchen Filart

According to #ForMindanao “Each family of indigent detention prisoners of Provincial Jail, Tampilong, Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur shall be provided with start-up capital and mentored on how to start businesses.”

These are just some of the more than a dozen projects being funded and monitored by #ForMindanao, in coordination with various volunteer organizations spread out in the provinces of Lanao Del Sur and Lanao Del Norte, as a way of easing out the effects of the Marawi Siege. With the help of these livelihood and psych-social programs, #ForMindanao hopes to see a radical improvement in the lives of those affected by the Battle of Marawi.