Sleeping near muddy foxholes to hide from explosions and without reliable shelter from bone-chilling monsoon rains, the world’s largest new population of refugees seeks survival in Mindanao, Philippines. They are an estimated half-million Muslims and Christians caught in the crossfire of armed conflict. Two weeks ago, AAI’s Albert Santoli and Rohaniza Sumndad announced an emergency aid mission. There has been an immediate buildup of support. Starting with only a couple duffel bags of donated medicines and toys, AAI has received growing support from international and local organizations and student volunteers that has grown into network a Caravan of Action to assist thousands of refugee families. Support is growing, but we need much more food and medicines than AAI can currently provide. Your contribution of any size will help us to save lives.
Life saving supplies and toys for a traumatized children were contributed by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Poor, International Medical Corps Worldwide, Interchurch Medical Assistance and International Relief and Development, Inc. Funds from Philippine Senator Richard Gordon have been donated through the Philippine National Red Cross that is enabling the on site purchase of food and the cost of facilitating the journey into the violent zone of crisis. Their primary destination is Datu Piang, where more than 11,000 families are living without basic shelter, food, water, or shelter from the mud and monsoon rains.
There has been an outpouring of volunteerism from organizations such as AAI’s Catalysts for Peace, Young Moral Professionals Network, Ayala Young Leaders, Alliance of Bangasamoro for Peace and Sustainable Development and the LiguasanYouth Association. Operation Blessing, Philippines is sending medical doctors and is donating a water-purifying machine. As of July 30, the caravan of humanitarian volunteers continues to grow. Simultaneously as part of the peace process, Christian and Muslim religious leaders have called for a halt to the violence. Although support is growing, the large number of refugee families will need far more support that is currently available to sustain the critical survival needs of this vulnerable population. We are appealing for public donations to successfully conduct this mission.
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