Four years after the bloody Zamboanga siege, Fatima Arpa is not sure of what the future looks ahead for her family until a new ray of hope dwell on her courtesy of Berjaya Philippines through Gawad Kalinga (GK). She vividly recalled the horror of the armed conflict in Zamboanga City when more than 110,000 people were displaced and 10,000 homes were damaged by fire and gunfight between the Philippine government forces and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction who attempted to raise the flag of the self-proclaimed Bangsamoro Republic at Zamboanga City Hall on September 9 – 28, 2013. (
Fatima Arpa is one of the 30 beneficiary families of new houses donated by Berjaya Philippines in this city in Mindanao, Philippines. She is helping her husband, Suaib, in selling vegetables in the market to sustain the needs of their children Hussin, Arnieza, and Nadzrien. “We lost our house and everything we own during the Zamboanga siege”, recalls Fatima. And in a twist of fate, tears of joy overwhelmed her when she was informed on September 2017 that her family can move in to a new housing project courtesy of a private company through GK.
The Berjaya GK Village beneficiaries in Zamboanga City met their benefactors when a group from Berjaya Philippines headed by Executive Director Mr. Tan Eng Hwa visited their community. “Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much)”, was the profound words Fatima said to Mr. Tan. “Sana patuloy kayong i-bless ni God para marami pa kayong matulungan (May God continuously bless your company so that you can be able to help more)”, she wished for Berjaya.
The sight of peace and beginning of a new hope will indeed be brighter for Fatima’s family and for the others who now have new houses away from the sad memories of armed conflicts of the past.