Message from Juhaira Saidali

Juhaira Saidali
Area Coordinator,
Duyog Marawi Peace Zones in Lanao del Norte

Good morning! My name is Juhaira Saidali. I am a social worker who passed the licensure examinations at the height of the Marawi Siege. I am one of the 148 young Maranao professionals who work with Duyog Marawi. Some of us are hired as staff, others are fulltime volunteers.

Duyog Marawi has a given us Maranaos a reason to hope. That we are not alone in our struggles. That the Christians are here to journey with it. We are the only church-based, interfaith dialogical response to the Marawi Crisis.
Our mission as an organization is to be an instrument of healing and reconciliation, to bridge the gap between Muslims and Christians, and to be a conduit between the mercy and charity of the Christian communities and the needs of the Maranao families affected by the siege.

Working 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), livelihoods, food relief, medical mission, psychosocial support services, trauma therapy, peace education, protection, organizing, and interfaith prayer and dialogues. We also run 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 30,000 families in 15 clusters of communities in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte.
For us Maranaos, especially among the young generation, we look at this crisis as an opportunity to start anew, to heal all wounds of division, and to make Marawi City a real Islamic City, and thus means it is a safe and peaceful place even for non-Muslims. And we are happy that Christians, through Duyog Marawi, believe in us.

Thank you.

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