STUDENTS of a university in Iligan City have launched a toy drive for children displaced by the fighting in Marawi City.
In its website, the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology's (MSU-IIT)- College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) said its students have started the second round of "Peace-Ta!", a series of activities that includes a toy drive and various fun activities for Marawi children.
The first round of the activities started last July 10.
Toy donors may drop their toys at the MSU-IIT CASS.
The students had also gone on a tour at the Natural Science Museum and received toys, school supplies, and storybooks from Tukod Foundation, the MSU-IIT said.
Sittie Noffaisah Pasandalan, CASS assistant dean, said they have been giving away toys and hosting children's parties with the aim of providing children some relief from their ordeal.
Pasandalan said children are the most vulnerable in times of calamities both natural and man-made.
"Most often, we forget about them since we believe that their parents will take care of them. Some have parents and some don’t. We think that children don’t have stories to tell and that their ordeal is less. I have realized that the children have so much to say, that they carry pain with them and in their own ways, they deal with it," Pasandalan said.
She added that realized that the children have been forced to become adults at such early stages in their lives, and they want to make them like a children again - to be carefree.
Children in evacuation centers have been undergoing psychological debriefing and other activities initiated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and from other government and non-government agencies.
The DSWD have also provided women and children their own ‘friendly spaces’ for their special needs.
Evacuation centers in Iligan City with separate child and women-friendly spaces include National School of Fisheries in Buruun; Sta. Elena Gymnasium, Sta. Elena; and Tibanga Gymnasium, Tibanga.