An army officer whose unit was assigned to organise community interactions in war-torn Marawi City, home of the Philippines’ bloodiest armed conflict since WW2, described how he had become very emotional when he saw the crayon drawings of children displaced by the war. While many of the children drew in colour, one boy chose to use only a pencil, drawing the houses left in ruins in shades of grey, because “this is how Marawi is today.”
The biggest victims of the Marawi war are the children, who to this day, suffer from the trauma they experienced for several months, seeing destruction, bloodshed, and human hardships that no child should be witness to. They have lost their childhood, in a way, and sport, play, and arts is one way to discover their childhood once again.
Many thanks to Keeko Kids, a crayon manufacturer in the UK who customise products for McDonalds and ASDA, generously donated 750 sets of crayons that helped 750 war-affected children to draw and express their dreams and happy memories. This is all the children want; to be happy and see their lives, families and communities back in colour.
Football for Humanity Foundation continues its support for Marawi to help children fulfil their childhood whether it be through sport, play or arts. The efforts of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office of Lanao del Sur, in particular Maharlanny Macalangcom Alonto and the whole team, are nothing short of heroic, being first in on the ground on a daily basis even as they themselves are affected by the scars of war.
The road to recovery is a long slow process, but every little effort helps. Bringing a smile to the face of a child speaks a thousand words of hope. We are confident that each day that we move forward is also a giant stride in healing.
If you would like to help these children, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.