March 28, 2018

With Books, Hope Comes to War-Torn Marawi

Written by Education Development Center

This article was originally posted on the Education Development Center website.

After months of conflict, books signal a return to normalcy in the Phillippines.

Boxes full of textbooks lay in front of Zenaida Naga. She excitedly looked through them, pulling out books on electronics, welding, and business. Then she picked up a few selections and hugged them to herself, smiling as she did so.

It was a deeply personal experience for Naga, an educator in Marawi City, Philippines. In May 2017, both the school and library she manages were destroyed when conflict broke out between government forces and militants associated with the ISIS terrorist group. The siege of Marawi lasted five months, caused massive destruction across the city, and displaced more than 300,000 people.

Now, months after the conflict has ended, Naga is thrilled to hold new titles. In addition to restocking her own school library, she also plans on sharing the books with other academic institutions that were affected by the conflict.

“It’s like finding treasures,” she says. “I am more than excited to share these books with our partners in Marawi. These will bring them so much joy because they also lost a lot during the siege.”

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