DUYOG MARAWI is a social action initiative of the Roman Catholic Prelature of Marawi to respond to the needs of the city following its destruction, the displacement of its people and the subsequent loss of their livelihood in the wake of the conflict that raged for five months between ISIS terrorists and government forces. About one million Muslims and Christians were displaced and affected because of this crisis.
The mission of Duyog Marawi as a Church-based response that is committed to a continuing inter-faith dialogue is to be an instrument of healing and reconciliation, to bridge that connects Muslims and Christians, and to be a channel of the mercy and charity of Christian communities that reaches out to the Maranao families affected by the siege.
Working with 148 Maranao and Christian young professionals, Duyog Marawi has served 20,000 families in 18 underserved communities through shelter assistance, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and livelihood projects, food relief, medical mission, psychosocial support services, trauma therapy, peace education, protection, organizing, and interfaith prayer and dialogues. It also runs a therapeutic and recovery program for Christians who were held hostage by the ISIS forces.
It has facilitated many solidarity visits by Church organizations to Maranao communities. It has been instrumental in forging partnerships between government and civil society through the Bangon Marawi CSO Platform. It supported the formation of Sowara O Miyamagoyag (Voice of the Internally Displaced Persons) to protect their rights and address their needs.
This year, the focus of Duyog Marawi is two-fold: interfaith peacebuilding and integral rehabilitation of communities, particularly of families who come from Ground Zero, through a combination of shelter projects, WASH assistance, livelihoods intervention, community health promotion, protection of rights, rehabilitation of schools, and engagement of women and youth. We target 25,000 families in 15 clusters of communities in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte.
Duyog Marawi works in partnership with Redemptorist Missionaries, the Caritas family, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), and in collaboration with various dioceses and faith-based organizations around the country.
As early as May 25, 2017, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has been one of the first organizations to reach out to Bishop Edwin dela Peña to convey its message of sympathy after news spread regarding the destruction of the Cathedral and the hostage taking of Fr. Chito Soganub and other parish workers and volunteers during the Marawi siege. Even as the war was raging, ACN had already committed to the Bishop that it will support the rebuilding of the Cathedral and the community.
As Bishop dela Peña waited in anguish for the resolution of the siege, he accepted the invitation of ACN to share the heartbreaking experience of his Prelature so that the hearts and minds of Filipinos may be
opened to the reality of Christian persecution. The Bishop recounted his painful story, but at the same time, professing to keep the faith by continuing the mission of his Prelature. These were shared during the
First Diocesan Congress on Christian Persecution held in Dagupan, Pangasinan last June 29, 2017 and the observance of Red Wednesday last November 22, 2017.
As Marawi was finally liberated last October 2017, ACN Philippines did not forget its promise to Bishop dela Peña and began a series of coordination with his staff to talk about plans on how the global community of Catholic donors could help rebuild the mission of his Prelature. Last November 2017, no less than ACN’s Secretary General, Philipp Ozores, visited the Bishop in Lanao del Sur and formally partnered with Duyog Marawi, the official movement of the Prelature set-up to respond to the needs of both Maranao and Christians affected by the Marawi siege.
Today, ACN is happy to announce that it will raise funds for the execution of projects and programs necessary to continue the heroic mission of the Prelature in establishing peaceful dialogue between Christians and Muslims. These projects and programs are encapsulated in the acronym, HILOM:
H – ealing
ACN will support all psycho-social healing programs of the Prelature for the affected residents and most especially for the survivors of the hostage-taking during the five-month siege. These programs will employ culture-based approaches to healing and wellness for local communities.
I – nterfaith Dialogue
ACN seeks to support the various programs of the Prelature to rebuild the fruits of interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians. These will be done through peace education, dialogue and communications.
L – ivelihood support for Maranaos and Christians
As the city center of Marawi is still closed to its former residents, many of its former settlers are without sustainable income. ACN will work with the Prelature in coming up with livelihood support for the residents until they could either start a new business or return to their original means of livelihood once the city center is re-opened.
O – ne in worship
One of the pillars of ACN is the mission of prayer, an act of being one with our God. For this purpose ACN will help in the rebuilding of structures for worship such as the chaplaincy and will provide a chapel truck for those in remote places.
M – ovement for Peace
While the terrorist group may have been defeated, no less than Bishop dela Peña can confirm that extremist groups continue to hold recruitment sessions in remote areas and towns of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. The groups are now capitalizing on the sense of hopelessness that Maranaos are feeling due to the destruction of the capital of their ancestral homeland. With this in mind, ACN will support the Prelature’s various peace-building initiatives along the lake-side towns comprising the peace corridor. These include peace caravans, feeding programs, medical missions and a youth movement comprised of young Maranao men and women who will plant seeds of peace in the target communities.
The programs listed above are just some of the short-term engagements that ACN plans to support. In the next couple of years. Once Marawi is re-opened and the economic life of its former Maranao and Christian settlers resume, ACN ultimately aims to rebuild the destroyed Cathedral of Maria Auxiliadora and other programs to restore the presence of Christian communities in Marawi.
True to its mission of serving Christian communities that are impoverished, oppressed or persecuted, ACN thanks the Almighty for using the organization as an instrument to manifest God’s love to Christians and our Muslim brothers and sisters. Despite the dwindling media attention, ACN believes that the compassion of Filipinos will shine forth in these quiet times of crises. Despite the many needs of local parishes and dioceses, ACN relies on the inexhaustible wellspring of generosity of Filipino Catholics. Finally, despite the continuing threat of extremism, ACN stands with the people of Marawi knowing that Filipinos, regardless of creed, will always uphold love and compassion as the supreme manifestation of faith in God.