Over 2,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) of the five-month-long Marawi siege that transpired exactly three years ago today, May 23, have been given psycho-social support (PSS) under the Gawad Angat BAYan (GABAY) Program, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project of Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK), funded by the Department of Finance (DOF) under the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau-Interest Differential Fund (KfW-IDF).
Since the implementation of the program in January 2019, LANDBANK, as Program Manager, has partnered with Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (BFMI), as Program Implementer, to conduct various PSS activities that have so far benefited 1,673 internally displaced adults and 455 internally displaced children in ten (10) barangays and transitional shelters in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur.
The PSS activity, dubbed as Mashwara Para Ko Kapamulong (Conversations for Healing), is designed to provide space for community sharing and community-building among IDPs and other individuals affected by violence. It also aimed to identify and prioritize issues within the communities, and come up with common hopes and possible actions to address the identified issues.
“The LANDBANK GABAY Program embodies the Bank’s commitment to help communities grow and recover. Since the implementation of the program in 2019, we were able to give hope to many of our brothers and sisters in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur, helping them rebuild their communities from the catastrophic impact brought about by the five-month-long siege in 2017,” LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo said.
To continue the conversations with internally displaced adults, LANDBANK facilitated post-PSS activities, such as the Mashwara Corners, in partner-communities where participants shared their personal journeys since completing the Mashwara Para Ko Kapamulong activities. Meanwhile, for the internally displaced children, the Bank conducted a series of Children’s Festival which included games, storytelling and learning sessions.
A unique feature of the PSS program is the incorporation of eco-therapy where LANDBANK mounted various workshops and hands-on trainings on natural farming to share and emphasize its importance as an introduction to a sustainable way of living and healing.
As part of the main components of the GABAY Program, LANDBANK also held a series of trainings of trainers on PSS, with a total of 101 graduates. They eventually served as facilitators in the conduct of PSS activities and other interventions for the conflict-torn communities.