I am Asnawi P. Daud, married with 4 children and from Marawi City. I was the former Guimba Barangay Council Secretary during the time JRS started engaging in my home city of Marawi, the Philippines.
It was in 2019 when I started volunteering in assisting JRS work in my home city. JRS targeted for assistance those who were displaced by the siege of Marawi City and sought refuge in the villages. In 2020, my home village was one of the two (2) villages adopted by JRS to provide support to IDPs. I was involved in the organization of the Guimbanians Association consisted of 70 members who are mostly parents or heads of families. The association was one of the community-based organizations supported by JRS with emergency assistance, youth support and livelihood assistance.
I was the village council secretary and the one who validated the association members as IDPs and residents of Barangay (village) Guimba prior to availing the support of JRS. The association received support from JRS in order to set up a rice retailing store.
Aside from the support of JRS, the association members decided to contribute PhP50.00 every month to provide funds for the association. It was a very challenging time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and there was the imposition of lockdown. We were not allowed to go out unless necessary e,g. medical, food and other emergency need. Most businesses were shut down and had gone bankrupt, especially the micro and informal businesses.
The year 2020 was a challenging year to implement the livelihood projects due to the imposition of lockdown and the widespread scarcity of resources for survival. Many lost their gainful activities and had difficulties affording their daily survival needs. They depended on relief goods and emergency financial support from the government and NGOs. JRS provided emergency assistance in the form of PPEs, food relief goods, and financial livelihood support.
The members of the Guimbanians Association can buy a sack (50 kilos) of rice and school supplies for their children at a discounted rate. Those who do not have enough financial resources pay on an instalment basis. By the end of December 2020, each member of the association received a profit share. In 2021, the PhP50 to be paid for members’ association dues will resume for collection to increase the association’s financial capability and to explore business expansion.
We all strive hard to keep going and the rice retail and school supplies store continued despite the tough challenges. This was possible because the association members did not give up and are very cooperative. They considered their livelihood project as an opportunity for them to better their family income in the future.
I decided to work full-time for JRS because I am convinced that their work in the community is meaningful and has a lasting impact in the lives of those provided with support. I thank JRS for the support and guidance.