By Bong Garcia, SunStar Zamboanga
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), through the Joint Task Force Marawi, is hosting an educational tour to 35 conflict-displaced children in Manila, a top military official announced.
Brigadier General Rolando Joselito Bautista, Joint Task Force Marawi commander, said the educational tour started on Monday, August 28, and ends on Friday, September 1. Dubbed as “Tabak Educational Tour: Peaceful Environment for Marawi Children,” the Manila tour is aimed to provide the children-participants, who live in conflict-affected areas, with educational experience, social and cultural values for peace-building, and exposure to peaceful environments.
Bautista said that the children-participants were identified as among those vulnerable and susceptible to violent extremism. They are aged seven to 13. Bautista said the tour is one of the initiatives of the AFP to ensure that children displaced by the crisis in Marawi City are given adequate support and psycho-social treatment by the government.
“It is imperative that at the initial stage, those deemed vulnerable are being guided and educated to know their roles in the mainstream society,” he said. He noted that the Maute group recruited and use child warriors in the main battle area and “are still recruiting minors until now.”
The educational tour is a joint undertaking of Joint Task Force Marawi, Lanao del Sur provincial government, Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Desk, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, and the Kilos Kabataan Livelihood Foundation, Inc.
The conduct of the tour is also in coordination with concerned government agencies, offices, and partners in Manila. (SunStar Philippines)
Read more: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/zamboanga/local-news/2017/08/31/35-marawi-children-evacuees-go-educational-tour-561419
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