Rijal, the eldest of three children, was forced to drop out of college to sell fish with his father after his family’s income was impacted by the siege.
“It was hard to find a decent job. I lost my confidence after applying to several jobs. I felt I was also discriminated against as a Muslim. I was forced to accept whatever work was available or borrow money for my family to survive,” said the 23-year-old, who is from Sta. Catalina.
The mere thought of gun shots and the trauma she experienced during the siege still makes Jewelyn Baguio cry. The 20-year old woman also lost her source of income and had to rely on the help of the government after the siege.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has been involved in helping families displaced by the conflict since 2013. With funding from the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), the ILO focused on creating sustainable livelihood opportunities together with the Food and Agriculture Organization and worked with the government, employers’ and workers’ organizations.
The siege affected the whole city. People suffered and communities were burned to the ground. The impact on families and their livelihoods was beyond imaginable."Bryan Tan Go, Manager of the Garden Orchid Hotel
“The siege affected the whole city. People suffered and communities were burned to the ground. The impact on families and their livelihoods was beyond imaginable. Zamboanga is our home and we have to help,” said Bryan Tan Go, Manager of the Garden Orchid Hotel.
Addressing skills mismatchA total of 44 participants completed the skills training. Vulnerable people such as women, youth and indigenous peoples were given priority. The partnership was also an opportunity to address job-skills mismatch.
“It is crucial to match skills training with the demands of employers. Bringing together partners is essential towards rebuilding after the conflict. Beyond encouraging employers to invest in skills and helping young people find decent work, this partnership is an opportunity to support peacebuilding efforts and to work together to find durable solutions,” said Khalid Hassan, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.
Rijal’s employment at the Café of the hotel helped him to gain confidence and support his family.
Jewelyn, on her side, explained that the income she earned from the hotel allowed her to provide for the needs of her baby, while her husband was looking for a job.
Finally, the training made it possible for people like Jewelyn to overcome their trauma and help their communities recover from the conflict.