In response to the difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) in partnership with MISERIOR gave rice assistance to around 300 households from different communities in the province of Sulu.”The pandemic put us in a hard times. We are grateful to CBCS for giving us this kind of assistance that is badly need by the poor people like us” said Sharha Abdukahal of Anuling Patikul, one of the recipient given by the Gagandilan Mindanao Women Inc. she’s one of those who extend their heartfelt gratitude to CBCS for the support they received.

The distribution of the items started on July 24 ,2020 and ends before the celebration of Eid’l Adha AL Mubarak July 31, 2020. A total of 300 households of which 102 of them are CSOs members while the latter were given to the adjacent households within reach by the person in charge of each Organizations. The said distribution is done by the network members of the CONSORTIUM OF BANGSAMORO CIVIL SOCIETY (CBCS) live in different municipalities by the following the following CBCS member oragnizations; Muslim Student Association, Agri-life youth organization, Sulu youth peace volunteer, Gagandilan, Matawkasi, Sulu youth Network, Biraddali, Nurunnisah Org, Jaga lupah Sug, Basulta Contact Group, Bangsamoro Professional Sulu, Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission and Community Alliance for Responsible Engagement spearheaded by the CSOs Lead Convenor, Abudujana Salapuddin. Also, they are entrusted on the identification of the recipients classified as orphan, widow, senior citizen, farmer, daily wage earner, and vendors.

“Kahit ang magbigay ay ginagawa at gagawin natin sa ganitong sitwasyon. Laking pasalamat natin dahil meron nang nagbigay para sa komunidad natin.” (In situation like this, we are obliged to give. A big thanks because someone gave for our communities), says Datu Abudujana, CSO Lead Convenor during the preparation meeting with the other member organization.

Ten (10) of Tampakan Farmer association of Talipao Sulu are also in the list of the recipients. While others are busy receiving the items, one of the farmers, Murijin Akbara approach the facilitator says” hindi namin akalain na aabot dito ang ganitong supply. Jazakallahu khairan sa likod ng mga ganitong mabuting gawain. Malaking tulong po ito sa katulad naming magsasaka” (We did not expect these supplies to come. At the back of this good deeds, it’s a great help for us farmers.)

Each pack comes with the primer serves as a reminder for everyone to abide the guidelines impose by the COVID-19 task force of each province to always remind awareness by using mask whenever they leave home, observe proper hand-washing, and maintain social distancing enable to keep themselves safe in this time of pandemic. There were 500 pieces of primers given aside from the rice assistance as a collaborative efforts of people behind CBCS.

This kind of act will not just help the recipients but rather plant seeds of hope in their heart and mind that not a dread pandemic can shattered the Bangsamoro People instead it strengthen the unity among them. Although there are more families yet to be assisted while the other already received help from the local government. They know that one won’t left others behind in times of crisis like this.

By:  Al-Khalifa Jilah

CBCS Area Coordinator for Sulu