“I was trained to always be ready. I slept in my shoes. My bags packed, always within reach,” recalls Joy (name changed to protect her identity), local Project Coordinator in the Philippines. She credits her early childhood experiences, running for her life, for birthing in her a burden to help the children still at-risk in her home community.
On Tuesday May 23rd, a violent gun battle began in Marawi City after government troops raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon. Hapilon is the leader of Abu Sayyaf, meaning “bearer of the sword”, a violent jihadist group in the southern Philippines—notorious for attacking civilians and armies alike. (BBC)
Myanmar (Burma) remains unsettled and continues to maintain some of the highest numbers of child soldiers on the planet. Aung San Suu Kyi, leader for the national democracy movement of Myanmar, faces many challenges in her plans for peace. In her Aug. 31 speech, Suu Kyi pledged to establish a "democratic federal union." But just a day earlier, a military spokesman dismissed the term, saying it did not comply with the 2008 constitution drafted by the military.
We are excited to let you know, the healing continues! Our local partner, the BAMATA tribal council, was able to offer land for all the displaced families to build their temporary shelters. With food, shelter, and medical needs met, attention was turned towards restoring the rhythms of daily life. This includes families working together to prepare the ground for crops and children returning to school.