Marawi Crisis: ‘I want education not war’

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Laarni needed to run for her life, not allowing her to grab any stuff for school.

It was on the morning of May 24 in Padian, Marawi City when Laarnie urgently needed to evacuate to a safe place when the Marawi crisis began. Along with her 14-year-old sister, elder sister, and her aunt were hundreds in their community that had to hitchhike to quickly reach the evacuation center in the town of Ramain.

Marawi Crisis - Laarnie

Laarnie sits with a volunteer counselor during the relief efforts in Maria Cristina Gym, Balo-i, Lanao Del Norte.

Though being Moslems, her father and brother helped the Christians who were being trapped in the Capitol to move away from the Maute group.

While resting in Ramain, another commotion occurred when airstrikes hit near their place. For this reason, they had to leave Marawi and move farther from the city with the option to live temporarily with their relatives if they can.

Laarnie and her relatives met Operation Blessing Philippines in Maria Cristina Gym, Balo-i, Lanao del Norte during its disaster relief efforts for the home-based evacuees. They received food packs for 5 days, hygiene kits, and undergone trauma counseling.

Although thankful for the help they received, Laarnie is very vocal that she really wants to continue with her schooling. Laarnie remembered she was preparing to enroll in senior high school when they were urged to evacuate.

In her words, education is her highest hope to reach her dreams, which were mostly for her family. “Ate Alice, the volunteer, gave me school supplies during the feeding at the Maria Cristina Gym and I was very happy,” shared Laarnie.

“In our family, I am the first to graduate college,” said the aspiring civil engineer. “But the situation in Marawi would not let me go back to my school. We are not sure yet if another crisis happens again,” Laarnie continued with a sad tone. Laarnie’s family, being displaced, has no constant source of livelihood in Balo-I. Her parents would not be able to send her to school in this place.

“I hope this crisis stops now. I hope the Maute group stop causing struggle to our Muslim brothers and the non-Muslims,” Laarnie said.

The Marawi crisis has been destroying lives of our fellow Filipinos. Would you help us help Laarnie to continue her schooling, even in the place where they are now? You can be a blessing to Laarnie and her family during this difficult time. Give NOW! Call 477-78-06 for inquiries or go to www.obphil.com/home/give-through-banks/

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