Rashid Bangcolongan oversees the plots at the Pantar West evacuation centre with the residents and some internally displaced people they adopted to their community.  ©

Rashid Bangcolongan

The conflict in Marawi City has brought tumultuous destruction not only to the physical structures in the city, but to the physiological, social, economic, ecological, and psychological facets of every inhabitant in the city and its neighbouring communities. Even though the city has been declared liberated from the rebels, still, the survivors or the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the ground zero cannot immediately return to their respective residences. Much worse, they would no longer wish to go back to Marawi. Aside from their severely damaged properties and loss of economic opportunities, the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) brought about by the conflict add up to their turmoil.  The challenge of every development intervention now lies on how to redeem the IDPs self-worth and dignity, arrest their PTSD, regenerate hope, and start a new life with sustained economic activities.

The Halal Organic Agric-Crops Production is a social enterprise project of the Muslim Sharing Skills for Peace and Development, Inc. (also known for its local name KAPAMAGOGOPA, Inc.) that intends to help the IDPs from Marawi City and the farmers of Barangay Pantar West, Pantar, Lanao del Norte by providing basic services such as food, clothing, and temporary shelter to alleviate their living conditions in the evacuation center. The project started in September 2017 at the verge of the Marawi siege. 75 trainees, composed of 50 IDPs and 25 farmers, served as their first set of beneficiaries. They completed the Organic Agric-Crops Production Skills Training Workshop provided by TESDA at the Skills Mastery Institute in Cagayan de Oro. They were also provided with basic gardening tools and equipment such as burrows, spades, boots, head gears, plastic sprayers, and the like. Some Pantar West land owners also participated in the project by offering their lands for farming.

In 2018, KAPAMAGOGOPA, Inc. intends to scale up their operations by establishing linkages to markets and groceries to generate revenues and create a steady stream of halal organic food for the Bangsamoro communities. In this manner, not only does KAPAMAGOGOPA, Inc. secure halal-compliant food to the Bangsamoro populace, it also helps improve the quality of life of the IDPs. 

Rashid Bangcolongan also represented the Philippines and the East Asia region in the recent Social Action Project Showcase, held at the British Council office in the UK. ©

British Council