The international humanitarian NGO Action Against Hunger (www.accioncontraelhambre.com, also goes by the acronym ACF) has tapped the Jabu-Jabu (|The Calling), Inc. for the latter to provide birth documentation for unregistered evacuee children to enable their family to avail of food and livelihood assistance.
ACF will start distribution this week of food assistance in the form of a “conditional cash transfer” worth P4,000 each to over a thousand IDP families now residing in the Masepla and Buggoc transitory sites, said program manager Nashruddin Modin. However, birth certificates for the beneficiary children will have to be presented to qualify, and a good number of them it was found out are not registered with the local civil registrar office, Modin said. To remedy the problem, ACF has partnered with Jabu-Jabu to immediately provide the needed birth records, which is a service that the local NGO has been extending to local Muslim communities since 2007.
Jabu-Jabu president Jaafar Kimpa oriented the ACF staff and their community volunteers on the documentation process last Monday June 1) in a forum held in the city. Salient birth and family information about the child is entered in a one-page form, attested by the local imam, barangay official and Kimpa. Copies are submitted to the local mosque, civil registrar, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos and the parents, Kimpa told them.
The project called “Kataragan sin Paggunting” was started jointly by Jabu-Jabu and Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) in line with the interfaith solidarity thrust of PAZ and its movement called Interreligious Solidarity for Peace (ISP).
Kimpa said Muslim parents especially the Badjaos among them do not customarily register with government the birth of their children, and this presents problems for the children when they enroll in school or apply for legal documents like police clearance or passport.
Aside from the 3-months of food assistance to the IDPs, ACF will also provide livelihood skills training to the same beneficiary families. After receiving training, they will receive kits and capital to start a business like vending, retailing and baking, Modin said. The IDPs will also be provided with Philhealth coverage for their longer-term medical needs. The livelihood assistance is implemented in collaboration with Ateneo de Zamboanga University and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
ACF has been assisting IDPs since the Zamboanga siege in 2013 providing them with health, nutrition, pre-natal and sanitation amenities, Modin said. Funding comes from the governments of Canada, European Community and Spain.