22 Nov With darkness, a sight of light
Her eyes were watery as she tells her daughter to sit alongside her. She offered us water and consoled us everything was fine with her life. I asked her again, “How are things going on?” With a faded smile she replied, “If I see things, everything seems fine, but if I see my family, I cannot understand how I have been able to make sure to continue my life through this situation.”
“I came to Kathmandu 9 years ago and have been working for this organization from the start, I have 3 children and I am a single mother. My eldest son has gone to India to be an army and my youngest son is living near Bhaisepati with the help of the organization. I have my daughter with me, and she is such a good daughter, I never had to scold her for anything. A few years ago, when she found out about her health status and that she was HIV positive, she blamed me for being HIV positive. It was difficult for her to cope up with this information but now she faced her fears and that has helped me a lot. The situation for me here is very different, the organization that I am working for said that they are going to phase out and now I have to move somewhere else. If I had somewhere to go to, I would have no problem, but the thing is I have nowhere to go. My in-laws have never supported me in any way and to expect something from my own family is a disgrace. They tell me to stay in Kathmandu itself and never to return my hometown just because I am HIV positive. I worked for this organization for so many years, and now I suddenly am going to lose my job and have to move.I have very less time to prepare and find a place to live, life has not been fair for me. I don’t know how I am going to sustain through life like this. My son dropped out from college and went to India to become an army building a hope for us for the future. I’m in such state right now, I cannot even go out anymore. I’m psychologically pressured and hopeless at all times. I wanted to tell SAATH about this but I didn’t have the courage to.”
Listening to the great sorrow of one client, a feeling of helplessness occurred during my third home visit in the framework of the daily work at SAATH’s Hakuna Matata project. Most of the time I listened to a Nepalese conversation between my colleague and our clients. Nevertheless, I could hear the sadness in their voices and look at their eyes. Even though the situation was tense, Ms. Ayeesha Joshi took some time to translate our client’s story into English briefly.
I could not believe what I heard and thought I had misunderstood something: Losing the ground under your feet from one day to the next and finding out that you have to move out by the end of the month. This unexpected incident forces our client to find a solution for her and her little family in very short time. At this moment, I felt very helpless and clueless. I kept asking the questions I have prepared to ease the situation. Our client gave me short answers to my questions. Meanwhile, I asked myself where she is going to take her daughter, as she cannot go back to her hometown because of the HIV status. I sat there, next to our client’s family, and I did not know what to say, let alone ask questions. My colleague Ms. Ayeesha Joshi offered the mother to interrogate together with SAATH hoping to find a solution. We are looking forward to offering a place, which is temporarily free. This is where our clients can stay until they have found something solid.
Compiled by Marika Riep.