PSS is an integral part of the emergency response. It helps individuals and communities to heal the psychological wounds and rebuild social structures after an emergency or a critical event.
The aim is to help the people become active survivors rather than passive victims, and to prevent distress and suffering developing into something more severe to enable beneficiaries to resume their normal lives. Children, youth and women who are more venerable to traumatic events were chosen as respondents for this activity.
MARADECA conducted the activity in three villages: Two barangays in the town of Saguiaran Lanao del Sur and 1 barangay in Pantar Lanao Del Norte, as follows: Barangay Lumbayanague and Miphaga Saguiaran and Kalanganan East Pantar. T
These communities have not received Psychosocial Support Services according to the beneficiaries. The target participants were 50 Children, 50 youth and 50 women in each session.
Barangay Lumbayanague had the following composition: 50 children participants, (21) girls and (29) boys; 50 youth participants of (24) males and (26) females; and 50 adult participants of (28) men and (22) women.
Kalanganan East Pantar had the following: 23 boys and 27 girls for children participants; 15 males and 34 females as youth participants; and (53) women as adult participants.
in Miphaga Saguiaran they had 24 boys and 26 girls as children participants; 0 male and 50 females for youth participants; and 17 men and 23 women as adult participants. There were a total of (218) participants.
The Psychosocial Support at Lumbayanague Saguiaran, Lanao Del Sur was held at the Barangay Hall with the help of the Chairwoman, Norwaida M. Alawi with 150 participants that were divided into three sectors of children, youth, and adults. During the PSS groups were very participative. Asim Mocsir, one of the youth participants said that, “it is having strong belief in the oneness of Allah S.W.T and patience that made them resilient”.
The Psychosocial Support in Kalanganan East Pantar, Lanao Del Norte was held at the Madrasa with the help of an IDP leader of the barangay, named Anisa Macmod with 152 participants that were divided by into three sectors that included 50 children; 49 youth; and 53 women.
Each activity consisted of a lecture, workshop and ideas sharing. Every participant shared their traumatic experience during the evacuation and their life situation when they arrived to their temporary shelters.
One participant, Naisa Toroganan a pregnant mother said, “We weren’t able to leave early because the Maute Group were in our front yard and they kept on firing using their weapons and other explosive devices. My husband and my 8 kids were very frightened to go out yet we have no choice but to take the risk and leave. Unfortunately, my husband got hit by a stray bullet. The kids and I cried and called for help because I don’t know what to do with my wounded husband. We are helpless and no one bothered to help us. Since then, I just looked at my husband until his last breath”.
Another participant from the women sector shared her sentiment. She told MARADECA. Inc and IOM, “We believe in you that somehow you could help us address our needs. We want the government to pay us the damages that this war has caused us. Our houses and businesses were totally damaged.” Most of the participants shared their situation in home based, some said “we often receive goods from the government and it is not proportional to the number of families.”
In Miphaga, Saguiaran, the activity was held at the Barangay Hall. One hundred fifty participants attended PSS divided by into three sectors of 50 children; two groups of 50 youth; and 50 women.
During the psychosocial support session in the children group, one of them caught our attention while doing the coloring activity. The children were instructed to write their dreams at the back of the paper.
Asniah, one of the children wrote her dream saying “I want to go back to Marawi to continue my studies” she explained why, she said “I can’t properly study in my aunt house because their house is small and mostly I don’t change clothes when going to school because we were only able to brought clothes good for three days”.
She also added that she is not familiar with the school and the teachers. She would be more effective in studying if she could return to home, she explained.