Certainly without knowledge of the place, the people, the terrain, the culture, the system prior the crisis, one could not easily reach the IDPs who chose to take refuge with relatives and communities in the interior towns of Lanao del Sur and Norte instead of going to the government designated evacuation centers.
This was proven by Alikman and team from the Lanao Muslim Youth Association who dared to reach the unreach. Alikman is not actually youth already but he was still youth when they formed this organization many years ago and some members are still active until now and would come together every time there is a need to address issues in relation to their advocacy agenda since their youth days.
The Lanao Muslim Youth Association (LMYA) was the first to reach and serve about 150 family IDPs in some interior barangays of Ditsaan Ramain and Balindong, Lanao del Sur. They also have reached interior barangays of Baloi and Pantar in Lanao del Norte.
When IDPs saw a Muslim and son of prominent local leader in the area serving them, “Oh, Alikman is distributing relief from Christians!”.
The reaction was motivated by the logo of Christian Aid on the tarpaulin.
LMYA is a partner of EcoWEB and Mothers for Peace.
Relief operation was supported by Christian Aid and Local to Global Protection (L2GP) donations– the first to respond to the appeal made by EcoWEB.
With another local partner, about a thousand IDP families have already receive relief assistance through quick response and Survivor-led response approach initiated by EcoWEB and partners currently forming a consortium to promote community/survivor-led response for Marawi crisis.