On September 9, 2013, armed rebels stormed into Zamboanga City, forcing over 110,000 people to flee from their homes, away from the ensuing chaos. Because the conflict was initially expected to be resolved within less than a week, most of those who fled had left their homes with nothing more than a few articles of clothing, some with even much less. However, no one expected that the conflict would drag on for weeks, and is still ongoing as of the present time, resulting in a humanitarian crisis that has gripped the city. According to UNICEF Philippines, a majority (an estimated 90,000) of the 110,000 evacuees are children, of which 47,000 are displaced.
Tragically, over 9,300 homes were burned in the conflict- entire neighborhoods razed to the ground. Worse still, the evacuees now have nothing to return to. They had fled their homes in such a rush, leaving most of their belongings behind, including the children's school supplies- bags, books, notebooks, and pencils, all of which had been burned to ash.
Here is an satelitte image of the affected areas:
It is now up to us to empower these children. They have lost their homes, and most importantly, their dreams. It is up to us to help them rebuild their lives and to give them hope. The main objective of these project is to raise funds to be able to distribute the LoveBag: Back To School Kit.
The LoveBag: Back To School Kit will contain a bag with a complete set of school supplies at a cost of PHP500. I hope that we could work together pool our networks and energies on this, not for us, but for the children of Zamboanga, because they deserve to have the right to proper education. Let us empower them and rebuild their dreams. What we can do today can define our tomorrow!