Seven-month pregnant Aira thought that she would give birth to her fifth child and raise all her four children in the once peaceful Marawi City. But now they are in Balo-i town, Lanao del Norte as evacuees following the attack of Maute terrorist group during the Marawi clash.
Aira and her family lived in Marantao, Lanao Del Sur – a municipality near Marawi City where she earns income through doing laundry while her husband works as a farmer in Cotabato City.
She was the only one looking after her children during the aerial bomb attacks of the government against the terrorists.
“I tried to calm myself so that I could take care of my children,” Aira said in Filipino. Thinking that the war will end soon, the pregnant mother did not bring anything with her. All she did was pray to Allah that they will not have an encounter with the Maute group while on the road.
After six weeks, Aira and the other displaced residents are still asking when the war will end. Though grateful for the help they have been receiving including that from the Operation Blessing of the Philippines, she still worries about the health of her children and of course including the one in her womb.
Operation Blessing is helping the Marawi evacuees in their health issues caused by the disaster. (obp)