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Food and medicine for kafala victims in Lebanon

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N.B the amounts of money donated here are in Canadian dollars. If you see 100$, that is 100 Canadian dollars or US 70.87$.

The coronavirus pandemic has made victims of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Governments and NGOs around the world have mobilized people to treat patients and attempt to contain the epidemic. As gallant as the collective effort may be, there remains plenty of vulnerable people in dire, desperate conditions as a result of the pandemic’s spread. Among these, migrant domestic workers in the Middle East.

     Ethiopians are approximately 77% of the total population of domestic workers across Lebanon and they form the bulk of the migrant worker population across the Middle East. In Lebanon, an economic crisis that hit the country hard in the latter half of 2019, put many domestic workers out of a job. As a result of government ordered lockdowns to contain the virus, many of these jobless Ethiopian domestic workers have no money for food and other basic necessities. They are estimated to number in the thousands in Lebanon.

My name is Banchi Yimer, I'm currently based in Canada and I'm the founder of the the Egna Legna Besidet (Amharic approximately translates to “from us migrants to us migrants) non profit organization. The organization is an Ethiopian domestic worker run organization based in Beirut Lebanon, which has over the past three years assisted domestic workers including victims of horrible abuses to the best of its ability.  I'm a former domestic worker myself and the organization run by myself and other former or current domestic workers in Lebanon has made a name for itself. Our members are involved in everything from raising awareness and teaching vital life skills, to counseling victims of rape. We have more than done our part to fight the kafala system.

But at this time, we are in need of your help as the problems faced by domestic workers in Lebanon are on an unprecedented scale. We need your donations to help us reach the domestic workers trapped in their homes without money for basics. The women have all fled violence, sexual abuse or enslavement. They are unable to work because of the lockdown and we are determined to ensure they are not forgotten. 

Help us help them! Any amount benefits the vulnerable. On behalf of the women who form the staff at Egna Legna Besidet, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

የኮሮና ቫይረስ ወረርሽኝ በመቶ ሺህዎች የሚቆጠሩ ህዝቦችን አጥቅቷል። በመላው ኣለም የሚገኙ መንግስታትና ድርጅቶች በአቅማቸው ተሰማርተው ችግሩን ለመቅረፍ ጥረት እያደረጉ ነው። ምንም እንኳን የጋራ ጥረቱ ወሳኝ ቢሆንም ብዙ ውጥረት ውስጥ የሚገኙና ለአደጋው የተጋለጡ የሰው ልጆች አሉ። ከነዚህ መሃል በመካከለኛው ምስራቅ የሚገኙና በቤት ሰራተኝነት ስራ ፈልገው የተጓዙ እህቶቻችን ይገኛሉ። 

በሊባኖስ የሚገኙ የቤት ሰራተኞች በግምት ወደ 77% ከመቶ የሚሆኑት ኢትዮጵያውያን ሴቶች ናቸው። እነኚህ ኢትዮጵያውያን የቤት ሰራተኞች በጎልፍ ወይም በአረብ አረባት በብዛት ይገኛሉ። በሊባኖስ ያለው የኢኮኖሚያዊ ውድቀትን ተከትሎ ብዙዎቹ ስራ አጥተው ለወራት ቁጭ ብለው ለመንግስት የድረሱልኝ ጥሪ እያቀረቡ ነበር። አሁን ደግሞ የሊባኖስ መንግስት ዜጎችን ከወረርሽኝ ለመከላከል ሲል ከቤት መውጣቱን ከልክለው ብዙዎቹ እንኳን ለኪራይ ለምግብና ለመድሃኒት ለመሰሉ አስፈላጊ ነገሮች ወጪ መሸፈኛ አጥተዋል። እነዚህ ደግሞ ቁጥራቸው በሺህዎች ነው ተብሎ ይገመታል።  

በዚህ ሰኣት ችግሩ እጅግ በጣም ከመግዘፉ የተነሳ የቤት ሰራተኞች ስቃይ ከሁላችን አቅም በላይ ሆኗል። ስለሆነም እህቶቻችንን በሚገባው ለማገልገል የእርዎን ተካፋይነትና አስተዋዕጽዎ ወሳኝ ይሆናል። በየ ቤታቸው ተቀምጠው ያሉት እህቶቻችን ተደብድበው ተደፍረው ደሞዛቸውን ተቀምተው ከአሰሪዎቻቸው የሸሹ ናቸው። ለምግብና ለመድሃኒት ገንዘብ ያጡት እህቶቻችን ወጥተው ስራ እንዳይፈልጉ ከቤት መውጣቱ በህግ ከመከልከሉ በተጨማሪ ለአደጋና ለበሽታ ያጋልጣቸዋል። እንዳልረሳናቸውና አሳቢ እንዳላጡ ልናሳያቸው ይገባል። 

ለወገን ደራሽ ወገን ነው። የአቅማችሁን በመስጠት በአስከፊ ችግር ውስጥ የሚገኙት እህቶቻችን ድረሱላቸው። ከእኛ ለኛ በስደት ድርጅት እህቶቻችን በሙላ ከልብ የመነጨ ምስጋናችን ልናቀርብላችሁ እንወዳለን!


Banchi Yimer
Montreal, QC

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