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Displaced Marawi children get into sports

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:26 AM August 07, 2017 DAVAO CITY — Children displaced by the months-long fighting between government troops and Islamic State (IS)-inspired terrorists have found a haven of fun as the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) recently conducted special games for kids staying at evacuation centers in Iligan City.

The two-day activity brought together some 350 Muslim and Christian children at Sgt. Miguel Canoy Memorial Cultural School in Baru-un village, playing traditional Filipino games as well as volleyball and football, the PSC said.

PSC chair William “Butch” Ramirez said the play therapy for Marawi children was a component of the commission’s Sports for Peace Program aimed at helping kids cope with the traumatic experiences they endured as war evacuees.


The children said they enjoyed the games as well as the company of fellow kids.

Eleven-year-old Almira, a Maranao girl who dreamed of becoming a soldier, said she loved playing soccer and volleyball as well as watching the performance of a magician.

“Thank you to the PSC. May Allah bless you. To my fellow kids, study well,” Barry, 11, said.

The teenagers also danced, sang and acted after undergoing a crash course on theater.

Elmayana, one of those who performed in the plays, said it helped lessen her trauma of the IS terrorists. “My prayer is for the war to end soon,” she said.

“To my fellow teenagers: Let’s not lose hope. Let’s continue our studies and finish school,” the seventh-grader Mahathir, 14, said. —Frinston Lim


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