Friday, June 12, 2009

Voices

I interviewed a lot of IDPs during my two days in Lanao del Sur...

-->We’re too afraid to return home as the military is there, and they might have more encounters with the MILF. That’s why we don’t go. When our home is totally peaceful, we will return. Life is too hard here, and my children are missing out on their daily needs.” Ambula

-->I miss playing at home; I used to climb the guava tree. I hope we can go home soon.” Armarnia (8 years old)

-->Everything I owned was destroyed; all we left with were the clothes we were wearing.” Mangomunta

-->The ceiling is completely gone. Everything we had was damaged, and we can’t afford repairs yet. But while the military is near our home it’s better for us to be here.” Namraida
-->I don’t like staying here, it’s very hard. You can not compare this life to our native home. When it’s completely peaceful I will be the first to return to Lininding.” Makhaboro

-->I can’t go back yet. I tried to, but from a distance I saw fire which made me very nervous. There was another encounter on May 28. Until our safety is assured we’ll stay here. We’ll need to rebuild our house when we go back, and I don’t know how we’ll be able to afford that.” Malia

-->We talk about the war with our children so they can understand why we have to live here and can’t go home yet. We will return home when the military leaves. Maimuna

-->My children understand there is a war, but they always ask when we can go home. When it is safe to go, we will go.” Rokhyan

-->Everyday I pray for more strength. I am so dependent on other people and I wish I could better support my family. Kiron

-->Just imagine with ten children, it’s difficult enough feeding them when we’re at home. The WFP rice lasts us just over a week.” Lai

-->In early September, we had already fasted for seven days. We heard very loud bombs and knew they were getting too close. We left at 6pm with about twenty other families and arrived at 5am. We could only bring the clothes we were wearing. Bombs were falling when we left. I had just served dinner and we had to leave in such a hurry that it was left uneaten on the table. Our wooden house was near the roadside. We went back recently and found everything had been destroyed.” Kalima

-->I remember the very loud noises of the bombs. I think they were very close. I like it here and I don’t want to go home. There are no bombs here, it’s peaceful. Jamal (12 years old)

-->Bombs were falling, and we weren’t able to bring anything with us. I couldn’t carry things and hold onto the children as well. This is the second time we’ve had to leave our home; the first time was in 2000.” Habiba

-->I’m still afraid to go back, soldiers are roaming through. The mere presence of them scares me enough to stay here.” Anisa

-->When there’s peace we will go home. Our house was slightly damaged, but if given the chance to return to a peaceful home, of course we will go.” Sitinor

-->I am hopeful that Taporug will be peaceful soon. There aren’t any encounters at the moment, but the military are still there. We’re assessing as a family whether we feel comfortable back, but I think for the time being we’re better off here.” Runisa

-->My house was destroyed in the bombing. I hope I can stay here, my sister is all I have left. Maimuna

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