Turkish government to help feed Marawi students

Enes Dolukup of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (left) and John Magno, regional education secretary of ARMM, agreed to cooperate on humanitarian activities for conflict-affected children from Marawi City during a meeting Thursday. Courtesy of DepEd-ARMM

Turkish government to help feed Marawi students
John Unson (Philstar.com) - July 8, 2017 - 7:07am

LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines  The Turkish government will help feed school children from Marawi City now pursuing elementary studies in temporary learning spaces (TLS) in safe areas.

John Magno, regional secretary of the Department of Education-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said Friday the Turk Isbirligi Ve Koordinasyon Idaresi Baskanligi (TIKA) will help them expand their feeding program for children in TLS facilities that were launched last month.  

TIKA is most known as the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency.

Enes Dolukup, representative of TIKA to the Philippines, and Magno met in Taguig City Thursday to finalize the humanitarian partnership deal that would benefit thousands of elementary pupils now in campuses outside of Marawi City.

“TIKA will help expand our program so we can feed more school children now in learning centers we recently established in school campuses in neutral areas outside of Marawi City,” Magno said.

Magno said all that Dolukup need for Turkey to start assisting DepEd-ARMM’s feeding program are written recommendations on how TIKA can best help in pushing the initiative forward.

“We talked about expansion of kitchens in the campuses where we relocated the children from Marawi City and they have, in principle, agreed with a partnership deal,” Magno said on Friday.

TIKA, established in 1992 and operating under the office of the prime minister of Turkey, has various programs promoting economic growth, trade, education and social development of poor citizens in different countries.

DepEd-ARMM has been supplying school children from Marawi City with hot meals daily for almost two weeks now through a feeding program assisted by the service-oriented Gawad Kalinga entity and the Word Food Programme of the United Nations.

The feeding intervention is meant to keep internally-displaced children healthy as they proceed with their studies in TLS facilities established by DepEd-ARMM. The TLS are in tents erected in open spaces in campuses far from the battle-torn Marawi City, capital of Lanao del Sur, one of ARMM’s five component-provinces.

The large tents for the TLS sites were supplied by the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Vision, an international Christian child welfare and protection organization.

“The TIKA promised to help sustain all these programs,” Magno said.

The first batch of children included in DepEd-ARMM’s daily food rationing is comprised of a thousand pupils now in evacuation sites in Saguiaran town in Lanao del Sur.

Magno said they intend to expand to 5,000 the number of children they are to provide with cooked food each day through the program, being implemented with the help of nutrition experts from Gawad Kalinga.

The Gawad Kalinga is a Philippine poverty alleviation movement connected to funders of humanitarian activities benefiting marginalized sectors.

“We have briefed our Turkish friends on the mechanics of these programs during our meeting. There was cordiality among us. The meeting was so fruitful,” Magno said.

Turkey is a member-state of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a bloc of more than 50 Muslim countries, including petroleum-exporting nations in the Middle East and North Africa.

Senior leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front separately told The STAR Friday that they will discuss the crisis in Marawi City with officials of the OIC during a meeting of the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) on July 8 in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast in Africa.

The BCF was organized about five years ago by both fronts and the OIC as a vehicle for a common peace initiative intended to put a diplomatic closure to the nagging decades-old Moro problem in Mindanao.

The OIC helped broker the September 2, 1996 final peace compact between the government and the MNLF.

It is also supporting the current peace overture between the government and the MILF, which splintered from the MNLF in 1980.

“We will likely discuss possible solutions to the problems now besetting Marawi City, the hostilities and destruction there and needed rehabilitation efforts that should follow through,” said Hatimil Hassan, vice chairman of the MNLF.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with