I have been working in Duyog Marawi for more than two months and I can’t express in words how grateful I am for being part of this organization. One thing I strongly like about Duyog Marawi is the organization’s willingness and perseverance to help people, specifically those affected by the conflict between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Maute Group. It makes me smile to see that there’s an organization like Duyog Marawi that focuses on how to help the internally displaced persons (IDPs) recover from traumatic experiences that they have been through.

Duyog Marawi (DM) is a church based and interfaith dialogical response to the Marawi crisis in partnership with the Redemptorist Missionaries. DM is a civil society organization (CSO) that aims to be the voice that tells the real stories, the struggles and the successes of the Meranaw people in their search for peace. It also aims to help the IDPs living in the 13 municipalities of Lanao del Sur around the lake in terms of medical, food assistance and others.

As of now, there are 13 municipalities as the loci of the operations. They are not all displaced but they were greatly affected because they lost their livelihoods and they also played hosts to home-based IDPs.

Their mission has made a big impact on  the Muslim and Christian community. It made the relationship of the two even stronger than before.

Duyog Marawi has been a big help for us, “nagpapasalamat kami ng taos puso kay Bishop Edwin Dela Peña sa lahat ng tulong na binigay niya samin at supporta, maraming Salamat po sir, mabuhay po kayo” (we’re extending our heart felt gratitude to Bishop Edwin Dela Peña for all the help and support he had given us, thank you sir, long life” says by Sittie Benasing, one of the evacuees of Malabang evacuation center.

DM has also been struggling, with great effort,  to reach the coastal communities since they are the most underserved Despite all the challenges DM, has come out more valiant, much stronger and more determined to continue its work with the IDPs of Marawi.