“Help me, sister!”
“I have no work. I have children. We have no food. We cannot pay rent. It is very hard. Please, help me.”
Our phones are full of messages like this from people we have never met. We can help some by bringing them bags of food, but some are too far away. COVID-19 has made life extremely difficult for our Rohingya friends.
Mohamad is a young father who is trying to provide for his family. When the pandemic started, he lost his job as a painter. For over a year, he has been unable to find stable work. His wife, Hasina, tells me that he is very stressed. Diapers for the new baby are expensive. He wants to send money to his brother, who is very sick. They also want to save money to send their son to school. Right now, they can barely pay rent each month. This is true for most of our Rohingya friends. They are first to lose their jobs and last to be hired again.
During the pandemic, there has been a sharp increase in hatred towards the Rohingya from the locals and the government. Rumena does not have a refugee identification card. She is very afraid because she has heard of police raids on apartment buildings like her own. Abdul told us that the police came to his shop a few days ago. They said that they would arrest him if they saw him working there again. He has already spent time in the detention centre and does not want to go back. What can he do?
- For God’s protection from the virus and from the ignorance of people who don’t understand the situation
- That God would use this difficult time to soften hearts towards Himself
- For perseverance of the workers who are trying to fill so many needs