Telling stories is pretty hard sometimes...

A brief moment to somehow convey the extraordinary character and resilience of communities living in dangerous and complex places is not enough!

As you scroll this story, please don't rush over it.

It is worth your time and unbelievable to see how a small gift given to a determined father can help build a new future.

Press play to taste the sweetness of your Childhood Rescue donations at work...

Halo-Halo is more than just a treat, it's a new beginning

*Specific locations removed, images of children witheld for child protection

In his own words, Basit, 37 shares his story

"I am Basit, 37 years old and now live in Cotabato City.

My wife and I have four children.

I used to be from Timako. My parents live there. We lived there since childhood.

My father and I used to catch crabs.

Your income from this is not much and it depends on your catch.

Sometimes it’s a failure and you don’t catch anything.

That used to be our livelihood."

Basit stands in his store, with a sweet halo halo smile. Halo halo is a delicious sweet treat of mixed fruit with shaved ice. Like a healthier ice cream :) The resilience and tenacity of this family is hard to comprehend. What an honour that we get to play a small part in helping people build a new and sweet future.

Lanie Carillo

"The reason we moved to this area is because of a clan.

We were caught in the middle of it. (deadly violence)

We woke early one morning to the sound of gunshots.

I took my family away from there. Even as we were riding a boat, we could still hear gunshots.

While we were running, I saw my wife carrying one of our children. I thought she was hit by a bullet, but she just fell to the ground.

I didn't think we would not make it because of the number of stray bullets.

Some people didn’t seem to care if there were civilians who might get hit.

I saw my children covered in mud. They were holding onto a palm tree.

When we reached a bridge, I saw my father carrying nothing.

Sadly, our house was also robbed."

Basit and his wife have a genuine reason to smile. It wasn't so just a little while ago. Speaking honestly, they relayed the strain on their relationship and the heartbreak of Basit's wife having to move overseas and find work. Now united, they are building their family business together. They can pay for their children's education and have a clean safe home. The children also have received education support from CHR with new school packs and supplies.

Lanie Carillo

"When we moved here to this area, we had a hard time because, of course, we needed to find a place to temporarily stay.

Whoever had the heart, let us stay with them.

Fortunately, a friend let us stay in one of their houses, which looked like a ghost house at first. It looked infested with snakes. Because we had nowhere else to stay, we couldn’t be picky. So, we cleaned it and my family, my sibling’s family and our father all stayed in one house.

It was very difficult for us to recover that time. My wife and I, we would look for any work to earn. Two of our children were still small.

Our life was a hand-to-mouth existence.

We needed to survive on daily basis.

It was painful to see your children waiting for you coming home and you couldn’t give them anything."

The halo halo store Basit started with help from the livelihood program. The program provides start-up capital and ongoing training and support. It is one of the key programs facilitated through Childhood Rescue in Cotabato City.

Lanie Carillo

"Unexpectedly, a blessing came to us from World Vision.

We were given livelihood assistance.

I used it to start a small business of “halo-halo” (mixed fruit with shaved ice).

Gradually, I was able to meet our needs as well as that of my children (for schooling).

Somehow, I am able to provide now for my family.

Then I built a small canteen.

My “halo-halo” was a success. I even added more another business that also helps us.

So, this is now the only thing that my wife and I have for work.

Because of the livelihood support our life now has improved."

In places like Marawi City, Philippines, your Childhood Rescue donations help children and families living in very complex situations survive, recover and build a future.

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Mindanao, Philippines

Marawi and Cotabato City are located on the island of Mindanao in the south of the Philippines. The predominantly Muslim population lives in the crossfire of conflict between rival militant and terrorist groups.

In 2017, a siege began and everyone's life changed in an instant.

For 5 months, militant and government forces fought, destroying thousands of homes, businesses and infrastructure. Up to 360,000 people were forced to flee to neighbouring regions. Four years on, many families still can not return home and live in Internally Displaced Population (IDP) settlements.

A lack of security, health, food and education mean children are highly vulnerable to recruitment offers by militant groups. Childhood Rescue's will help children build their futures through education, health and peace building.

  • Terrorist and militant behaviour undermine social stability and children's futures

  • Terrorist attacks and kidnappings are common in the region

  • Natural disasters cause significant difficulties for families in the region