Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A call to action

The following story is from one of our readers:

I know of a Filipino maid living opposite me who used to come onto the balcony dirty & thin. One day, I found papers on my balcony saying 'Help me, I have been locked in this house for 2 years and 8 months. They don't give me soap to wash myself or even let me have a shower. And I only eat scraps of food."

I went to the Filipino embassy and reported this. Initially they resisted and did nothing. They told me to call other people, but I kept insisting and getting angry... so eventually they went to the house.

I can see these same people now have an Indonesian maid. The Filipino maid is now home but had to undergo an operation as she developed thyroid problems from stress. She was only skin and bones. I am glad I was able to help her and am still in contact with her. I wish I could help many more that undergo ill treatment.

I know this story is not as horrific as the ones you have published. I want to thank you for having this group to open peoples eyes.
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2nd story
Al Razi Hospital
An Indonesian girl jumped from 6th floor of a Kuwaiti owned house. The only words she can manage are "baba mu zain, mama mu zain' As she says this her eyes go very wide, almost in a scary way. I have a feeling she has lost her mind from her experiences. And why not? She has only been in Kuwait for one week!

Within two weeks of her being at the hospital, 11 new maid abuse cases are admitted to her ward. Broken bones, burns, as thin as rakes - and rape cases.
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Every so often people will write to me and tell me similar stories about what they have seen or heard in their own neighbourhoods. In fact I have had 4 or 5 people write in because they have been so crushed by their experiences. They want to help in any way they can and don't know how. So if people want to help, what is stopping them?

You know that moment during a song, a TV show, a play, a book - the emotional climax - that almost makes you feel like you can change the world? It gives you enough energy and emotion at that moment to make you think -maybe I can do something different, something better with my life. You want to go out and make a difference and be a better person, but as soon as you step out into the real world of traffic jams, angry bosses, piled up office work, nagging relatives... the wind and the heat and everything makes you think... oh it was just an emotion. It wasn't real - these things in front of me are reality. What could I possibly do to change things?

DON'T lie to yourself. You can do it! One person has changed the world on numerous occasions. The entire course of history has changed millions of times because of the actions of people who acted alone. One person - Mother Theresa - completely changed the face of poverty in Calcutta. It changed the way people felt about the poor, changed the way the poor felt about themselves. One person, Gandhi, created a completely unique nation by freeing us from British rule through non violence. I don't know of any other country in the world that has earned its freedom in this way. These are just examples from my own country - no doubt you have many for your own as well. One person changes history permanently, all the time.

In fact, if you think about it, your every action every minute, changes history permanently. Even if you decide not to do something about the maids abuse situation in Kuwait, you have decided that that is your contribution to history... and future generations will work based on your decisions and either praise or lament your decision.

And if reality is what's getting in your way from getting involved in the maids abuse situation, don't let it. Don't coast along from song to song, movie to movie - thinking that you need to feel that spark of emotion to get a fire raging. A spark reminds you of what you should be doing. It is not the fuel that drives you and it never will be. Your own human will is what will change things and if you say "I will" then you will.

If not you, then who?

So let's stop reading and do something. In the next week or so please give thought to if you want to do something to help these suffering people. And if you decide that something must be done, please share with me your email address as a comment (I will not publish it). At the very least we can get together a group of Kuwaiti Citizens who feel strongly about this and put them in the same place at the same time so they can know that other citizens care too.

God bless you guys!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.aljarida.com/aljarida/Article.aspx?id=124589

Anonymous said...

Amen to that.

nabeel said...

will someone tell me if this article is on topic? Its in arabic so I have no idea what its saying. ALso if someone would be so kind as to gimve a summary of it?

Raven said...

Hey nabeel, I read the article from the first comment

Basically, this Kuwaiti woman had a new driver that had just arrived to kuwait, and surprisingly, the driver got really sick for some reason...

Now... because they were the driver's first days in kuwait, alot of his paperwork had not been processed/completed yet... so he didn't really have a civil ID card or anything like that...

this woman sent him to the local clinic with her family's other driver carrying a note explaining the sick driver's situation and also explaining the lack of paperwork, all in the hopes that he would receive treatment regardless of any missing paperwork...

The clinic checked him out and found that the guy's blood pressure was high and sugar levels were also high... the guy had a fever and was passing out...

The clinic decided that it was a serious case and needed to be transferred to a hospital immediately...

Upon their arrival to the hospital, the people who worked there refused to treat him regardless of his symptoms due to his lack of paperwork and official documents, and even when she tried getting them on the phone, they refused to talk to her at all... they even refused to read the note that she wrote explaining the driver's situation...

They stepped outside the hospital and were approached possibly by a janitor who offered them a chance to see a doctor if they gave him 2kd as bribe money.

The writer of the article, the woman herself, was furious and she expresses how disappointed she is in the hospital's refusal to treat this extremely sick human being.

in her article she questions the hospital's humanity, and is amazed that things have gotten so much out of hand that problems are being solved by means of bribery...

I think I covered most of the article... hope it helps...

teagirl said...

Let me know if you guys decide to get together or to do anything. Thank you. God bless.

nabeel said...

thanks so much anon - really appreciate you translating that for me. horrible!