IN AN effort to inspire and boost the morale of women in the city ravaged by a five-month war, spouses of the country's leaders extended help and comfort to some 2,000 mothers in Marawi City on Wednesday, December 13.
Dubbed as "Pahalipay para sa mga ina ng Marawi City," the humanitarian mission was spearheaded by Honeylet Avanceña, partner of President Rodrigo Duterte, along with the Senate Spouses Foundation Inc. chaired by Lourdes Pimentel, the mother of senate president Aquilino Pimentel III, as well as the Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc. and DU30 Cabinet Spouses Association.
The activity was also joined by former President and current Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Recipient mothers received holiday gift packs, relief goods and P3,000 financial assistance.
The beneficiaries were identified by the social welfare department from the villages already cleared by the military.
Lourdes Pimentel, who personally handed over the goods, said it has been a blessing that the group was able to reach out Marawi City to bring comfort and help to the victims of war.
The Senate President's mother is thankful to all the associations, foundation, sponsors and donors who showed goodwill to the displaced families.
"We have the organization Puso sa Kaunlaran composed of the cabinet, congress and senate spouses and also we have donors and we are thankful that they all help in this gift giving activity," Pimentel said.
Pimentel said every woman and mother should cheer up and not lose hope, as she called on everybody, the Muslims and Christians alike, to pray for peace, prosperity and contentment, for the war-torn city, for Mindanao and for the entire country.
Pimentel stressed the role of the mothers as "light" of every home who molds the minds of the young and gives love not only for children but to husbands and to the rest of the people in the community.
"Please don't be discouraged. There will always be hope and we will always have hope if we pray," Pimentel said.
"To the women and mothers in Marawi, our role is very special because we bear children and we mold the minds of the young. And we have that great love, so we bring out that love and give it to everyone," Pimentel added.
Pimentel said more help will be extended to Marawi City in the coming days.
Avanceña said the activity is the result of the combined undertaking of the group of spouses who have worked hard to look for sponsors and to personally hand over the goods to the recipients.
She said more assistance are needed while rehabilitation is at work to rebuild Marawi the soonest.
"Huwag kayong mag-alala kasi kahit wala kami sa sitwasyon ninyo, ramdam namin ang nararanasan ninyo," Avanceña said.
Duterte's romantic partner told the mothers to take a grip of hope and trust that they are not alone, as she urged them not to resort to things that they do not want to do just to earn and survive.
"Karamay niyo po kami. Huwag kayong mag-isip na nag-iisa kayo andito po kami. Kasi naririning ko yung iba are into things na ayaw nilang gawin pero ginawaga nila to earn a living," Avanceña added.
Avanceña also encouraged mothers to look after their children and ensure that they are not misguided, used and misinformed by evil ideologies.
"Itong evil ideologies ito yung sumisira sa kaisipan ng ating mga kabataan so as mothers maging gabay po sana tayo sa pagsiguro na hindi sila mapasukan ng evil ideologies," Avanceña said.