Unfortunate expatriates in Kuwait
Can you help?
“CAN we help?” is a question a lot of people ask when they hear news of another unfortunate soul who has slipped between the cracks of society.
Here is a story of what happened when some friends of mine did try to help. They reached out to a Nepali lady who was injured after jumping out of a third floor window in order to escape her abusive employers. This maid had surgery on her pelvis and spine, was five months pregnant and to add insult to injury was serving a sentence in deportation jail on an absconding charge. (Why don’t they arrest the abusive employers?)
The authorities finally agreed to let my friends buy an airline ticket to allow her to go home. But when it came to processing the paperwork, the officials claimed to have lost the Nepali girl’s passport (it was found in the same drawer where it was originally deposited). Finally on the day that the ticket would have expired, out of desperation, the friends turned up the jail ready to take her themselves to the airport. The deportation staff reluctantly escorted the Nepali maid to the airport, and made sure that their annoyance was expressed by denying the poor girl use of a wheel chair and insisted that she walked the whole way through the airport and immigration in order to punish her. The abuse of this girl continued right up to the moment she boarded the plane.
She was the lucky one! She got out.
Others receiving help are still stuck at the deportation centre. Tickets have been bought to allow them to go home, but they have expired because someone, somewhere will not process their paperwork. Hundreds of dinars from those who wish to help have been wasted. Prisoners are losing their minds because they have been stranded in the deportation centre for months. The tragedy is that often their tickets have been bought and paid for by people who have shown acts of charity – but bureaucratic apathy has reduced these efforts of kindness to nought. The tickets expire and dreams of going home are reduced to despair.
Please note, we are not talking about convicted criminals here. We are talking about people who chose to leave their employers under dire circumstances and who want to go home. Can you help? Of course you can. But you need to be committed and determined to see it through. Helping people in Kuwait is not for the faint hearted, but there will be reward and God sees what we do.
“The King will reply ‘Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me”. (Matthew 25:40)
By Rev Andy Thompson
St Paul’s Anglican Church,