Helping our troops fight violent extremism in the Philippines: Water for Padas


I just returned from being on the ground in the southern Philippines, and I’m writing today to tell you about a very special project I was able to support while I was there.

Working side-by-side with US Army Special Operations, Spirit of America helped fund the construction of a water pump in the village of Padas in the southern Philippines. This area is highly vulnerable to extremist influence and recruitment. The New York Times highlighted this project in a recent article; click here to check it out.

Intense fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and ISIS-affiliated groups forced the people of Padas to flee. While the fighting has since stopped and these families are returning to their homes, they faced another life-threatening challenge: poor access to clean drinking water.

Fighting between the AFP and Islamic State has left the nearby city of Marawi in ruins. (Source: The New York Times)

To collect water, residents had to walk two miles roundtrip through rugged, steep terrain. Worse still, with every trip to get water, the civilians risked encountering ISIS fighters, putting them in the direct vicinity of dangerous extremists.

Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, local leaders, and I test the new water pump in Padas. For these Filipinos who have been forced to go to great lengths for water, this pump is life-changing.

The new water pump will drastically improve the quality of life of the village, reduce the influence of violent extremists, and demonstrate that the US troops and Armed Forces of the Philippines are committed to addressing the needs the local people identify.

With your support, we can fully fund this project. Your partnership with us gives the gift of clean water to over 1,500 people and will help stop the spread of the Islamic State in the southern Philippines.

Thank you,

Terrell Chandler
Regional Program Manager – Asia Pacific

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