Khartinie Abbi is a Filipino para-social worker of Community and Family Services International (CFSI) based in Sulu, Mindanao, Philippines. She is part of the Fresh Start Project that provides social welfare services to children and youth disengaged from armed groups.
Before COVID-19 plagued the country in March, Khart was in Zamboanga City to conduct a training to program beneficiaries in the area. It was an island away from Sulu, roughly three and a half hours of travel via ferry.
When it’s about to go home, Khart found out that all travels were suspended as part of COVID-19 quarantine measures implemented in the region. She was stranded in the city for four months.
“I was very anxious because I wanted to go home. I feel responsible for the kids especially this pandemic season. I know they need my help” she shared.
Travels to Sulu island were back in June for passengers cleared from medical procedures. Khart processed the requirements right away, bearing the child beneficiaries in mind.
She is now back in Sulu, giving psychosocial support to children through written letters and phone calls amidst the pandemic. She knows that her service is much needed in the island now, more than ever.