Isolated but not Forgotten
Our partners in Pattaya and Bangkok have been heavily on my mind the last few days. Speaking to them via zoom this week they are feeling deflated and depressed.
Covid cases are rising in Thailand to over 20,000 new cases daily, with few hospital beds available. People are anxious and nervous. The majority are waiting for an opportunity to be vaccinated.
A shutdown to contain the coronavirus has killed Thailand’s party scene and forces sex workers out of bars and onto the dangerous desolate streets, desperately looking for customers, to pay rent and buy food. Many of the women are isolated in their one-room apartments. The lack of community and connection takes a toll on their mental health. Addictions flair up, and old coping patterns can take over. Women are lonely and fighting depression.
It is estimated that Covid-19 has left 300,000 sex workers out of a job, pressing some onto the streets, where the risks are sharpened by the pandemic. Women are suffering the most. Many are mothers and their family's main income earner, and are forced into sex work by lack of opportunities or low graduate salaries.
I am so thankful for your orders and donations especially during these difficult times. Your orders enable me to reorder stock and our partners can therefore provide work and income to the employees, through jewellery making in their homes. Daily online worship is taking place and new ways to stay connected with the women is high on the priority list. When possible, your donations provide outreach to women who are not in the program, distributing food and toiletries, and also to check their mental health. A visit and a brief conversation can make a big difference in letting the women know that even when they are alone, they are not forgotten.
Today the simple luxury of making a cup of tea and dunking a chocolate biscuit causes me to reflect on those women who are hungry, stranded, desperate and isolated. I fully understand these women are not alone in the challenges brought by the covid pandemic.
Thank you for remembering Hope and Light, even as you face your own challenges. God has not forgotten His promises, and He has not forgotten us. He is always near. I pray that the women we serve will know this truth through these trials.
Thank you for your continued support,
Through projects based across Asia, Hope and Light supports and enables outreach to women and children trapped in slavery and exploitation. Our partners help them find alternative safe work and new opportunities for a more fulfilled life – to bring Hope and Light.