Women’s group reaches out to refugees, migrant workers

  • Metro News
  • Tuesday, 21 Apr 2020

A SUPPORT group for women in Kajang and Semenyih has also extended help to refugees and migrant workers to ease their burden during the movement control order (MCO) period, by providing them with food.

Selangor Friends of Women Association (PSWS) executive director Irene Xavier said they helped whenever their assistance was requested.

Daily wage workers, refugees and migrants have been left to fend for themselves, she said.

“So far, we have helped four different communities that accommodated 16 families and multiple individuals who could not manage to feed their families and themselves.

“Most of them are workers who have either lost their jobs or did not get paid.”

Relating an incident, she said a nearby church reached out to PSWS saying that people lived without food in a sawmill that was filled with dust and mud.

“We did not go into the house because of the risk of potential Covid-19. We just had a look through open doors.

“They were running out of food. Some only ate rice and salt, ” she said, adding that they hoped their work superior would visit them with food.

Xavier says PSWS helps refugees and migrants whenever its assistance is requested.Xavier says PSWS helps refugees and migrants whenever its assistance is requested.

Xavier said the workers had no transport and the nearest shop was 10km away.

“They do not have access to get help because of their isolation or possibly fear of the authorities if they were undocumented, ” she said.

She also related the case of a woman having delivered her baby on her own at home and her baby had not received vaccinations yet.

Another case was of a Pakistani refugee who was down to his last RM10 and had a wife and children to feed.

“It is important for us to help because we feel that starvation or poor nutrition does not help people survive the virus, ” said Xavier.

PSWS, she said, received donations through its network and had worked with others who previously raised money for the same purpose.

“We sent out an appeal to all our contacts to raise funds as well. Our friends from other NGOs responded first, then strangers responded.

“Even a vendor gave us trays of eggs to distribute and took our number to contribute more later, ” she added.

Apart from monetary aid, the association also bought groceries comprising rice, eggs, mee hoon, canned food and biscuits for the destitute.

“We decided that it was best to buy groceries for them instead of only monetary aid because it was hard for them to move around and get the things they needed, ” explained Xavier.

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