Teenager in Evacuation Center Learns How to Help Others

November 7, 2017 • Philippines
Aizah teaches children in an evacuation center in the Philippines how to properly wash their hands.
Ruth Santos is the information officer for Samaritan’s Purse in the Philippines.

Sixteen-year old Aizah Dirampatun stood by one of the sinks at a handwashing station and demonstrated to a child how to properly wash his hands. She did this until every child in line had clean hands and the children were ready to enjoy their meals.

Aizah dreams of one day becoming a doctor. Unfortunately, that dream is on hold. Aizah was in her third year of high school when she was forced to stop her education because an ISIS-affiliated Islamic terrorist group attacked her home city of Marawi in the Philippines in May.

Aizah helps clean the potable water storage tank.

Aizah helps clean the potable water storage tank.

“We ran with only our clothes on,” Aizah said of the traumatic experience.

The teenager and her family had no choice but to stay in a small evacuation center near the border of Marawi. Hardly any relief came here since most aid went to the bigger evacuation centers.

Samaritan’s Purse sent a team to her evacuation center and to three other hardly-reached centers. The team distributed hygiene supplies and other non-food items, and held nutrition and water, sanitation, and hygiene programs. The programs addressed the need for clean water and the high percentage of malnutrition in children under age 5.

Our team has trained Aizah to teach other people in evacuation centers about healthy hygiene. She was eager to learn and even volunteered to clean the potable water storage tank that Samaritan’s Purse installed at the evacuation center.

“We will be sad when you leave,” Aizah said. “You were the only group that showed us this much care.”

Aizah promised that once she leaves the evacuation center she will teach others in her hometown all that she has learned from Samaritan’s Purse.

“We are so thankful. You have become so dear to us,” Aizah said.

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