My name is Janet, and I am originally from the Philippines. My husband, Peter, is from Kenya and together we have a beautiful daughter called Maria.
I met my husband at the hotel where we both worked — I was a waitress and he was an accommodation supervisor. It was love at first sight! We liked chatting, and even though we are from different cultures, I still wanted to get to know him. So I did not listen to the hesitations of my friends and relatives, because love is the most important thing for me. After a few months of getting to know each other, we got married in Abu Dhabi Court. One year after our marriage, we moved to Kenya and soon after I got pregnant. Our daughter was born in early 2005.
Later, we returned to the UAE, first to Dubai and then Sharjah. I was working part time in Global Village so I could contribute a bit to my family. My husband was working in a catering company. However since Covid-19, we were both made redundant, and our plans and dreams vanished so quickly. It was as if the wind blew them away.
I am quite stressed about the present situation and it’s so difficult to be calm.
My husband was first put on unpaid leave and lately was informed that work will not be resumed until September.
My husband and I keep applying for new jobs, even online but I have not come across a work opportunity yet. I am considering going back home, either to the Philippines or Kenya however the economic situation is worse there.
My daughter is very smart, she likes to draw and sing. However we recently moved house and she is playing at home due to Covid restrictions. We want the best for her and I feel sad to see her affected by our financial difficulties. She keeps asking me why we keep moving, but it’s so difficult to explain.
My dreams are that Maria continues kindergarten, and that my husband and I continue to live here in UAE with permanent jobs. I’d like to get a driving license so I can take Maria around the UAE and give her a good life, as she often wants to go places that we can’t afford yet. To justify the fact that we don’t have a car, I tell her that walking is healthier than driving, but honestly I feel her and I know how little we have — but still I hope and pray for a better outcome!
I would like to say to the families that are going through this crisis, to keep in mind to have hope and faith, pray and empathize with one another and everything will eventually go back to normal soon.
From my family to your family, we are in this together.