No one warned me what life would be like hereJune 11, 2020
The overlookedJune 17, 2020
Hanane receiving soap, masks, and a food voucher from a partner church
My name is Hanane, I am Lebanese, and I was born in 1982. I live with my husband and two children. I trained to be a seamstress, but I am unemployed now. I suffer from swelling in my head and my husband has diabetes, had a kidney removed, and high blood pressure. Due to his many health conditions he is unable to work. Our daughter is 20 years old and our son is 18 years old. Our son was the only one working and bringing money for our family to survive, he was also continuing his education at a technical school at the same time.
But when the economic crisis and the protests started in October 2019, he lost his job and has been unemployed ever since. After three months, we were unable to keep paying our rent. Now the landlord keeps turning up every few days and demands we pay for the last six months. We had to unsubscribe from the generator service for when the power cuts off, and now I clean the stairwell of the house to save LBP 5,000 every week ($3).
Our situation has further deteriorated since the COVID-19 outbreak: we haven’t been able to afford any medicine that my husband and I need, even my son who has allergies had to go live in the mountains with his friend because we couldn’t get his medicine and we couldn’t afford to feed him anymore.
We haven’t been able to purchase all the food we need, so we get vegetable leftovers at the local market, and we borrow from our neighbors when they have something. Also, COVID-19 has kept us indoors most of the time for fear of getting sick – no hospital would treat us if we got sick because we can’t pay the bills.
We cannot find anyone to help us. NGOs turn us down because they have no programs for vulnerable Lebanese.
We heard about the church a few months ago, and I started attending for a while. They decided to help our family with food vouchers and items for COVID-19 prevention, like soap and masks. We could never have purchased these items. They ease our burden a little bit in these tough times, but our greatest need remains food for now. The food voucher helps us of course, but it is nowhere close to being enough.
We feel that the situation is really bad and still getting worse for us and for our country, but we hope for better days for all people, that this pandemic will pass and suffering will ease.