Catholic Church launches toy drive for Marawi kids

The Catholic Church through the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines has launched a toy campaign for the benefit of the children in Marawi .

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 crisis in Marawi.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez 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, the priest 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 explained.

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

Donations can be dropped off at NASSA/Caritas Philippines office located in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) building in Intramuros, Manila until August 11, 2017.

New or preloved toys as well as educational materials for children will be accepted as long as they are clean and in good condition.

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

NASSA/Caritas Philippines together with the Diocese of Iligan is also implementing a P10-million humanitarian response to the Marawi crisis, covering the essential needs of 3,000 families or 15,000 individuals in Iligan City such as Halal food, and non-food items like hygiene kits, household items and sleeping kits.

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.