Panic and fear emotionally paralyzed Anida, who was not able to bring anything with them except for the clothes they were wearing on the day when the Marawi siege happened.

She also left their source of living, which was selling chickens in the market, and walked with her children from Marawi City up to Ramain. They hitched a ride from there and took temporary shelter with an acquaintance.

This is where Anida and her children currently reside as one of the home-based evacuees that Operation Blessing feeds in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte together with the help of other organizations.

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Anida registers her family at the evacuation center in Balo-i, Lanao Del Norte.

“I am very thankful for the psychosocial activities given to my young children. I am happy to see my children somehow getting at ease from the trauma they experienced,” Anida said.

Her husband died 3 years ago due to illness and Anida has been the family’s breadwinner. She and her children lived in the market where she makes a living and was caught in the middle of the exchanges of fire and loud explosions between the Maute terrorist group and the government troops.

Though grateful for the help they are getting from Operation Blessing as they were able to eat nutritious foods, Anida admitted that it is hard for them to just depend on their host family.

“It is hard to be evacuees. I cannot give the needs of my children. They were not able to go to school this year because of our situation,” shared Anida in vernacular.

Anida’s hope and prayer is for the war to stop and live a normal life again.

“I hope and pray that the war would stop sooner so that we can already get back to our normal lives. Though I want to raise my children properly and send them to school, I cannot because of this war,” she said.

Widows like Anida have no other choice but to stay strong for their children in difficult times such as this. Help us reach out more single parents affected by the Marawi siege through our psychosocial activities for the adults and the children.

Here are the bank details of Operation Blessing for your support:

You can also visit our Facebook page for updates on our efforts for the Marawi siege-affected families at, or call us at 477-78-06 for more information.