Their memories of the warfare may not be harming them physically but the trauma they had experienced may haunt them for a lifetime. During this difficult time, the children have always been the most vulnerable.
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Meet Jamael Polog, 12 years old. On May 24, while accompanying his parents to buy food at the market in time for Ramadhan, loud explosions and gun battles erupted nearby. Jamael runs where all the people were running until he got separated from his parents.
Crying out loud, “Papa, Mama!” the young boy was lost in the middle of the panicky crowd. Thankfully, Aslia Calima, a good Samaritan woman, convinced him to jump up a rescue truck and they were brought to the Maria Cristina Gym in Balo-i, Lanao Del Norte.
At Balo-I now, Jamael tries to cope up with his situation, especially that he is away from his family and their village in Marawi City is already a ghost town. Aslia’s relatives are taking care of Jamael in their house.
Jamael is only one of the hundreds of displaced children who sought refuge in their friends or relatives’ house in the town of Balo-I.
The young boy and Aslia received food packs for five days from Operation Blessing’s disaster relief efforts in Iligan City. Jamael also received a pair of slippers and loom bands at the children’s corner of OB. His feelings of sadness and anxiety were somehow relieved by his busyness and feelings of fun and joy during the loombands activity.
Out of the loom bands, the children make necklaces, bracelets, headbands, and rings, which helped them cope up with the trauma they have experienced from the war.
“Thank you, Operation Blessing, for the loom bands and the slippers. I will share them with my siblings when I see them again,” Jamael shared.
More than 200,000 people were affected by the violent clashes in Marawi City. Many are still in need. They need your help! SEND MY HELP NOW.