July 28, 2014
Muslim orphans flown to Manila to start new lives
The decades-old armed conflict in Mindanao, notwithstanding recent successful efforts at forging peace with Muslim rebels, continues to take its toll on innocent children, many of whom have turned orphans as their parents become statistics of war casualties.
The Dar Amanah Children's Village Foundation, the only Muslim orphanage in Luzon, is one of those humanitarian groups who provide shelter to orphans, offering hope to such collateral damage of insurgencies in Mindanao.
In 2009, the PAL Foundation received its first request for free air transport of Muslim orphans to be brought to the Dar Amanah orphanage in Cavite. The children are from poor families and processed by the Social Welfare Department office in Mindanao.
Since then, the Dar Amanah Foundation has been coordinating with the PAL Foundation to fly Muslim orphans to Manila.
Last June, PAL flew 28 orphans – mostly girls, from 7 to 13 years old – from Cagayan de Oro (a separate group of four children came from Zamboanga) to Manila, to take refuge at the orphanage in Cavite.
With no parents, no homes and no money, the children are trying to rebuild their lives and possibly start new dreams, with a little help from the PAL Foundation.
Photo shows the Muslim children (with Social Welfare workers as escort) from Cagayan de Oro upon arrival at Terminal 3 – eyes filled with anxiety and uncertainty on what their future holds.