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Church launches toys for Marawi kids campaign

Church launches toys for Marawi kids campaign

MANILA— The Catholic Church’s social action arm has launched a campaign to help put a smile back on faces of the children of Marawi City.

The toy campaign called “Share the joy, give a toy” hopes to bring back the happiness and provide comfort to children, who are still recovering from the trauma brought by the ongoing conflict.

Caritas Philippines said the campaign targets to give new/preloved toys and educational materials to at least 3,000 children who evacuated in Iligan City, and to other disaster-affected areas..

Apart from basic necessities like food and non-food items, Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez said there is an urgent need to address the psychosocial needs especially of children.

“The trauma brought by the armed conflict were evident in the faces of the civilians, especially to the children, who were robbed of a peaceful and memorable childhood. Through this campaign, we hope to help ease the trauma,” Gariguez said.

The provision of toys will form part of the psychosocial interventions of the rapid response appeal recently launched by Caritas Philippines with the Diocese of Iligan.

“We are also encouraging children who will be donating toys to write simple cards or notes, with inspiring messages for the children of Marawi,” he said.

Donations can be dropped off at Caritas Philippines office located in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines headquarters in Intramuros, Manila until August 11, 2017.

The church agency said new or preloved toys as well as educational materials for children will be accepted as long as they are “clean and in good condition”.

It added that toys that are scary-looking, pigs or wild animal replicas, weapon-like, toxic, battery-operated and damaged/soiled are discouraged.

Caritas is currently implementing a P10-million humanitarian response to the Marawi crisis, covering the essential needs of at least 3,000 families or 15,000 individuals in Iligan City.

Data from the Office of the Civil Defense-National Emergency Operations Center showed a total of 102,860 families or 465,674 individuals were displaced by the armed conflict in Marawi.  CBCPNews