News TOP

News Detail

Marawi evacuee in Tacloban hopes to finish college

The ongoing conflict in Marawi City has not stopped a young nursing student from chasing her dream.

Nor-ain Radia, 21, who temporarily moved to this city, is sad that her study has been interrupted when terrorists attacked their city.

“I want to finish my studies and graduate, but the problem is that I don’t have money to support myself,” said Radia, a graduating nursing student of SMD Foundation Academy in Marawi City.

Radia travelled to this city with her relatives last month due to worsening situation inside the evacuation centers near her home city.

Her parents, who are into rice milling business, have been trapped inside the war-torn city. She has no information about her parents' conditions.

Radia has been praying that someone will support her education, which she considers as a way to repay her parents’ sacrifices.

"I'm praying that the war will end soon so we can go back to our village and see if our parents are still there," Radia said.

Although Marawi evacuees feel safe in this city, she recalled how she endured discrimination and bullying during their first few weeks here.

“When I was inside a mall, somebody called me a child of Maute. That happened to me three times. Why people can’t understand the difference between ordinary Muslims from Maute groups. I hope they will learn that a big majority of Maranaos are not terrorists,” Radia said.

Recently, Tacloban city Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin visited the evacuees to find out their needs and extend help.

“This kind of situation only proves that during wars there are no winners,” Yaokasin said after meeting with 15 families who fled to this city. “It's heartbreaking to hear their stories of loss and separation.”

The city vice-mayor calls for residents of Tacloban to respect the rights of evacuees’ beliefs, avoid discrimination, and make them feel that they are welcome here.

“Regardless of our religious beliefs, let us pray for violence to end and lasting peace to prevail. We look forward to the day when all the displaced families will be able to go back to Marawi City,” Yaokasin added.

Roel Amazona / PNA