Resilience amid ruins

In a bustling city working towards re-development, these Maranao people show their resilience by engaging in livelihood and looking at the future with bright eyes.

When conflict broke out in Marawi in 2017, more than 350,000 people were forced to flee from their homes. They sought refuge in different areas, and struggled to get by because they left behind their homes and jobs.

Two years after the conflict, they are starting their lives anew. Mothers and fathers are starting to work again. Children are smiling and playing. Fields are flourishing, water is flowing, and opportunities abound. UNHCR assists in rebuilding the resilience of these internally displaced people through low-cost, quick-impact projects that not only help them get back on their feet but also forge peaceful coexistence in the community.


Mindanao Photo Series -11

Beyond Marawi City's most affected area is an abundance of greenery where many Maranao families have sought refuge from the siege. This is Radapan Proper, a community that hosts 29 internally displaced families. With the help of UNHCR Philippines, water pipes were constructed from the reservoir to the barangay, bringing the village a sustainable source of water.
© UNHCR/Lyka Gonzalez

Mindanao Photo Series -12

Under the afternoon sun, 10 -year-old Alnor Ibra is all smiles. He is from Barangay Mipaga, Saguiran. In this Barangay, the IDP's and the host community have had a long-standing discord regarding the water system. This was mitigated the construction and rehabilitation of the community's water system.
© UNHCR/Lyka Gonzalez

Mindanao Photo Series -13

Baironisah Mambuay started living in the Sagonsongan Temporary Shelter after being displaced from her home in Marawi City. She holds a bilao (woven tray) containing all the ingredients of palapa, a spicy condiment that brings every Maranao's taste buds home. Baironisah is one of the women leading Palapalicious, a livelihood project funded by UNHCR.
© UNHCR/Lyka Gonzalez

Mindanao Photo Series -14

These are ingredients of Palapa, a staple condiment that compliments every Maranao dish. It is nicely nestled in a bilao (woven tray), ready to be prepared by the people of Palapalicious. This is an income-generating cooperative for the displaced women of Marawi.
© UNHCR/Lyka Gonzalez

Mindanao Photo Series -15

Maimona Etado is a skilled dressmaker who lost her business in the siege back in 2017. Now, she leads a dress shop located in Poona Marantao. This dress shop was created when UNHCR provided the Maranao women with two sewing machines, and it is now being developed into a cooperative.
© UNHCR/Lyka Gonzalez

Mindanao Photo Series -16

Aisah Dimangadap, one of the dressmakers at the shop, holds a dress she recently sewed. Some of the dresses that these women have crafted are already being sold in the market. These dressmakers are rebuilding their lives, stitch by stitch.
© UNHCR/Lyka Gonzalez

Mindanao Photo Series -17

Rocaya Hijisaid, 45, stands tall outside the nursery at Barangay Pantaon. In this barangay, the gravity flow of the water system has recently been improved. The households benefit from this Quick Impact Project because they now have a stable source of water, and they all live in peaceful co-existence.
© UNHCR/Lyka Gonzalez

Mindanao Photo Series -18

What does happiness mean for you? For every person in the world, joy entails something distinctly different. Away from home, this displaced person narrates what happiness means to her on a crumbled piece of paper.
© UNHCR/Lyka Gonzalez

Mindanao Photo Series -19

A member of the UNHCR field staff stands before the newly constructed water system in Barangay Lumbayanague. This is considered to be one of the cleanest water supply by the community, and it also allows them to save more money because they do not have to spend 20-50 pesos a day for drinking and cooking.
© UNHCR/Lyka Gonzalez

Mindanao Photo Series -20

Villagers peacefully walk through the fields of Barangay Lumbayanague. They lost their jobs and homes when conflict broke out in 2017. But slowly, they are rebuilding their lives with the help of UNHCR's quick impact projects. You can take part in this beautiful journey of resilience by getting involved with UNHCR.
© UNHCR/Lyka Gonzalez