High in the mountains of Mindanao, Philippines, over 200 children and their families have been forced to evacuate their homes. The villages of Insibay, Tigbao and Mentusing are in turmoil after a bandit gang attacked a local NPA leader and then turned on the community elders.
The families have taken refuge in the nearby village of Tumalog but the conditions are extremely poor. Food is scarce, illnesses are beginning to take lives and the threat of violence is still imminent. We are hoping the government will help provide relief but so far, their response has been minimal. Our team may be one of the only sources of aid for these families.
BRINGING RELIEF TO THE TALAANDIG PEOPLE
We asked and you answered! Your swift and generous response impacted hundreds of evacuees! During the relief campaign, our local ground team further assisted the displaced communities by working with their leaders to mobilize aid from the local government; tap our local partner network to supplement purchased food, medicine and supplies; and, recruit doctors, nurses and other volunteers to join the mission.
The relief mission team arrived on June 17, undeterred by torrential rains and flooding during their entire 52 kilometer journey. They often walked, whenever the road was too muddy or tough. The only mode of transportation up the treacherous mountain is by motorcycle or by foot. They rode five high on one motorcycle and even crossed rivers on makeshift rafts!
We delivered relief goods for 130 families, donated clothing, mosquito nets and water containers. Medical services were not limited to evacuees, welcoming several neighboring communities. By mission’s end, 826 registered patients received medical attention but close to one thousand received consultation.
Physical healing and peace building have begun, school has started in its temporary location, and temporary shelters are being built while their home region stabilizes and the violence subsides.
As our team was preparing to leave Tumalog, many villagers crowded around them to express their thanks. They also specifically asked us to relay their gratitude to you, the donors, that made this mission possible. Together, we have not only provided physical aid, but also much needed emotional strength, inspiration and hope to these beautiful people.