Rasheda’s family has been living in limbo since escaping violent attacks by militants

More than two years after fighting ended in Marawi, Philippines, families remain displaced and girls are missing out on their educations

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In early 2017, the southern Philippines’ city Marawi erupted in violent conflict between the country’s military and pro-Islamic State forces. The violent five-month siege tore apart the city, destroying homes, schools and mosques and initially displacing more than 350,000.

Fourteen-year-old Rasheda fled with her family from Marawi after insurgents attacked.

“My family was really scared,” Rasheda says. “My parents carried my younger brother and sister. We escaped here to Pacalundo camp.”

Today they live about an hour from the city in a tent encampment. The tents, designed to be lived in for only six months, have been the family’s home for two years. Her school was destroyed in the fighting and so were all her documents. This means she can’t attend the nearby school. Instead, she has to travel back to a camp near Marawi where her teachers have erected a new school. But that trip costs money and only allows her to attend school a few days a week.

“I miss my old life,” Rasheda says. “I used to go to school every day, but that’s not possible anymore because we don’t have the money.”

Girls like Rasheda who are fleeing emergencies risk violence and exploitation on the road to safety. Hear other girls’ stories and sign the petition to help make them Safe From the Start.

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