It had been two nights since Anna had been sleeping in a park at Yau Ma Tei. Her life was in limbo. Fed up with the intolerable living conditions at her previous employer, Anna had quit her job. She was scheduled to fly back home to the Philippines but she got a message that she was positive for COVID-19.
Queuing up at the public hospital was an exercise in futility. She was told to undergo quarantine at home. Only Anna had no home to go to.
Living in the park at the mercy of the harsh cold and rain, Anna felt abandoned, rejected and lonely. “I have been through the worst situation in my life not having a place to sleep, food to eat and no medicine when I am sick,” Anna said.
Anna was finally rescued by HELP and placed at our shelter. We provided her with medicines, warm clothing, and hot meals. Anna finally had a safe space to recover.
Anna found friendships with other domestic workers living at the shelter. They ate meals together & bonded over their shared beliefs & experiences. She often spoke to her family in the Philippines. HELP educated Anna on her rights, changing scenarios under the pandemic & assisted her with her visa documentation.
Anna’s challenges were long drawn out as she continued to test positive for COVID-19 three times before she could fly back home. Not being able to go back home, losing her source of income, and fear, made Anna feel dejected & anxious. HELP provided Anna with mental health counselling under the MeHeal initiative. She spoke via video calls to a counsellor who supported her in developing resilience and improving her mental wellness. HELP continued to support her with shelter, food, and medical and sanitary supplies.
Finally, after two months, Anna reunited with her family in the Philippines. “I am happy now that I am with my family & I feel so much love,” said Anna. “I want to tell all m