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Respond

Every day, we receive so many calls that test our faith and character. We answer the calls that matter to us, while reject those that don’t. Have you, in your existence, ever received a call to help humanity?

Did you respond to the call?

Four months ago, our brothers and sisters in Marawi City were going about their lives when out of the blue, the Islamic State-inspired terrorist group Maute waged war on the city. Last Sep. 27, after Marawi was reduced to a rubble, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the war in “Islam City” would be over in three days.

We hope that this is true, especially that all the victims of this war have nothing left for them but hope.

First and foremost, we would like to commend our heroic soldiers who risk their lives for the liberation of the city and for thwarting the war to spread outside Marawi.

Our snappiest salute to all of you.

As the fighting is about to end, the start of yet another challenging phase of moving on begins–the tortuous road to recovery.

The Weekly Sillimanian lauds the Silliman University Peace Studies Center, headed by Dr. Myraluz Waddington, and the senior high school students in their efforts to help Marawi evacuees in Dumaguete. They spent last Saturday morning bonding and playing together with displaced children and parents from Marawi.

Same commendation goes to the Federation of Muslim Students of SU (FeMSU) and SU Frat-Sor Alliance for spearheading the #RunforMarawi 5-Kilometer run. They were able to sell more than 200 tickets worth P200 each.

These initiatives only show that no act is too small as long as it helps. As Ronald Reagan put it, “We cannot help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

Meanwhile, the Weekly Sillimanian knocks on your hearts to extend whatever help you can give to bolster the rehabilitation of Marawi City.

The war is nearing its end yet most of the refugees will have to stay a little longer at the evacuation centers. Some will try to go back to Marawi to start anew. Hence, your assistance will be of great aid to them.

You can donate used clothes, toothpaste, bath and laundry soap, shampoo, towels, etc.

Meanwhile, those who escaped death are being haunted by another terrorist: disease.

Due to congestion in evacuation centers, most evacuees especially children are suffering from diseases like fever and cough. Some have died from illnesses like diarrhea-induced dehydration.

Hence, they need immediate health care and supplies like first aid kits composed of alcohol, medicines, etc. and even food and water.

If you are too lazy to pack relief goods, then you can donate monetary assistance to some organizations here in the campus like FeMSU. Ten percent of your monthly allowance would not cost that much, right?

In addition, the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) Health Committee is also accepting donations in the forms of hygiene and first-aid kits. Drop them by at SUSG office.

Moreover, tWS calls on the university to coordinate with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees of the Philippines office to help in the rehabilitation of Marawi.

tWS believes that the university can spare an amount from the liquidity reserves they have been saving in case of any natural disasters. The disaster funds amount to more than P300 million.

Although the Marawi siege was not caused by natural disasters, it was still a disaster that caused social upset. Marawi needs our help.

The university could help in rebuilding some facilities and buildings like the library at Dansalan College– a school under the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.

As a leading Christian institution, Silliman University should help everyone regardless of faith.

Mother Teresa once said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

While we enjoy being free, there are people in Marawi who cannot sleep at night in fear. While we enjoy the company of our families, there are children who became orphan during the incessant exchange of gun fire. While we enjoy the comfort of our bed, there are lolos and lolas who can’t even lie down on cold cement floors.

While we sit in the ivory towers of Silliman, there are students whose dreams are postponed because they cannot yet go to school.

What is going on in Marawi is clearly a humanitarian crisis that calls for Silliman Spirit. Some have responded to the call.

Will you?

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