Kindness Stories

Janet’s Story

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.

“Janet’s family has been helped, but there are many families like hers. Please help spread kindness by helping a family. Please submit the form to help.”

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Hopes and dreams of a bright beautiful future

Today I cried, not little sobs, great big rolling tears, the sort that runs your mascara down your face and leaves it blotchy and red.
I left the house early this morning to drop off some essential for a tiny new beautiful baby, a family who live here in Dubai, they had started their family 9 months ago before anyone had ever heard the word COVID. They started their family like so many of us do with hopes and dreams of a bright beautiful future. I have never met this family before and will probably never meet them again, but they really touched me. The parents don’t have work and their beautiful baby boy needed basic essentials like clothes, a cot and food, the mum and dad needed food, they were the loveliest couple, coping as best they could in an impossible situation. They haven’t given up on their dreams for their much loved new baby and all they asked for was a few clothes for him which of course they can no longer afford to buy. I took them so much more, a cot, clothes, toys and food to keep them going.
As I got back into the car It suddenly hit me, how much all of our children will miss out on, how many dreams will come to an end, how big this impact really is, we are not in this for the short term, this is reality now and will be for the for seeable future.
I cried tears for the family I met but I also cried tears of frustration that families have so much hardship and there is is little we can do to help. I cried tears for everything I have taken for granted for so long and not appreciated and now is no longer. I wanted more than ever to solve these problems to support these families, to put life back to how it was before this pandemic hit us.
We need more people to help us help these families, we can all afford just one grocery shop, this is an act of kindness that takes 10 minutes, it is minimal effort but is so worth it. Please, please if you do nothing else today, please fill in this form and offer a small shop to help families who are really hurting right now.

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Small act of kindness

I don’t often write about the challenges of living with someone with dementia, it is just part of our family life, but I feel a need to share today. On my birthday, my mother did not recognize me, when the children explained it was my birthday, she wrote a note and seemed to think I was her twin and that it was our birthday. She then sulked and was pretty difficult all day as no-one gave her birthday wishes.
I have to say I don’t celebrate my birthday usually, so this is not the issue. It is the frustration that when you live with someone with dementia there are never “good” days, there are days that are better than others, but life right now means waking up every morning in dread of what Mum will say or do today.
Usually my strength is positivity, and my approach to life has got us through some pretty tough times, but it is hard to find a positive when your mother talks to the wardrobe in French telling me it won’t get out of her room. She refuses food because apparently she no longer likes her favorite meals, she sits in her petticoat because she has forgotten what her clothes should be and never says thank you or uses my name because she has no idea who or where I came from.
Still, I make her breakfast that is healthy, balanced, nutritious and tasty that may get a glimmer of interest or enthusiasm which I take to her in bed to make her life easy and more enjoyable. Each morning the food is taken with suspicion at best, usually accompanied with a complaint about some girl who hovered around her room, a criticism that something else isn’t right, I pick the towels up from the floor which this mystery girl has been throwing all night and then wait for the next nonsense story which out of respect for her I listen to attentively and try patiently to answer. The answer is however irrelevant and probably unnecessary. Covid makes the situation so much worse, there is no escape, so this post is for all those brave, husbands, wives, sons and daughters who cope with “the stranger in their house” the person who may look like a loved one but only in body, the person who you loved and doted on has long since left.
I wish I could say it will get better, but this is not the case. Life goes on but time stands still, emotions surge that are not ones of love and fear of loss. I cry for what I have already lost and wish I had valued the times we had. I love that we can keep her safe in our family, but I hate she has no knowledge of the challenges she throws our way or understanding of the sacrifices that my children have had to make to their lives to accommodate her, we can no longer have holidays as a family as I have to look after my mother, it breaks my heart to get messages from my husband and children when I can’t join them because I have a duty to fulfill to her, a thanks for all the years she dedicated to us and any change would be a disaster for her.
I guess no life is perfect, with or without COVID, so I have no choice but to hold on and remember the present is the best time and try and to make it count, we have no idea what will come for the future and the past no longer counts. For dementia carers there is no tantalizing flickering light of hope at the end of the tunnel, there is more darkness and frustration to come. For those who care full time it is hard, and every day a small part of your heart dies as you watch more and more of what you loved about a person leave. For me there is little left.
I wish my Dad was here even a few words of encouragement, his sense of humor and understanding would help so much, caring for a dementia sufferer is the loneliest job in the world. The weight of responsibility is overwhelming and the pain immense. If you know a family who cares full time for someone, don’t forget to reach out and help. Everyday is a different mountain to climb, the height is determined by the person they care for, you cannot plan ahead each day is so different.

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We remember their love

I don’t often write about the challenges of living with someone with dementia, it is just part of our family life, but I feel a need to share today. On my birthday, my mother did not recognize me, when the children explained it was my birthday, she wrote a note and seemed to think I was her twin and that it was our birthday. She then sulked and was pretty difficult all day as no-one gave her birthday wishes.
I have to say I don’t celebrate my birthday usually, so this is not the issue. It is the frustration that when you live with someone with dementia there are never “good” days, there are days that are better than others, but life right now means waking up every morning in dread of what Mum will say or do today.
Usually my strength is positivity, and my approach to life has got us through some pretty tough times, but it is hard to find a positive when your mother talks to the wardrobe in French telling me it won’t get out of her room. She refuses food because apparently she no longer likes her favorite meals, she sits in her petticoat because she has forgotten what her clothes should be and never says thank you or uses my name because she has no idea who or where I came from.
Still, I make her breakfast that is healthy, balanced, nutritious and tasty that may get a glimmer of interest or enthusiasm which I take to her in bed to make her life easy and more enjoyable. Each morning the food is taken with suspicion at best, usually accompanied with a complaint about some girl who hovered around her room, a criticism that something else isn’t right, I pick the towels up from the floor which this mystery girl has been throwing all night and then wait for the next nonsense story which out of respect for her I listen to attentively and try patiently to answer. The answer is however irrelevant and probably unnecessary. Covid makes the situation so much worse, there is no escape, so this post is for all those brave, husbands, wives, sons and daughters who cope with “the stranger in their house” the person who may look like a loved one but only in body, the person who you loved and doted on has long since left.
I wish I could say it will get better, but this is not the case. Life goes on but time stands still, emotions surge that are not ones of love and fear of loss. I cry for what I have already lost and wish I had valued the times we had. I love that we can keep her safe in our family, but I hate she has no knowledge of the challenges she throws our way or understanding of the sacrifices that my children have had to make to their lives to accommodate her, we can no longer have holidays as a family as I have to look after my mother, it breaks my heart to get messages from my husband and children when I can’t join them because I have a duty to fulfill to her, a thanks for all the years she dedicated to us and any change would be a disaster for her.
I guess no life is perfect, with or without COVID, so I have no choice but to hold on and remember the present is the best time and try and to make it count, we have no idea what will come for the future and the past no longer counts. For dementia carers there is no tantalizing flickering light of hope at the end of the tunnel, there is more darkness and frustration to come. For those who care full time it is hard, and every day a small part of your heart dies as you watch more and more of what you loved about a person leave. For me there is little left.
I wish my Dad was here even a few words of encouragement, his sense of humor and understanding would help so much, caring for a dementia sufferer is the loneliest job in the world. The weight of responsibility is overwhelming and the pain immense. If you know a family who cares full time for someone, don’t forget to reach out and help. Everyday is a different mountain to climb, the height is determined by the person they care for, you cannot plan ahead each day is so different.

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Busy is the new happy

Some days, you know the ones, you feel like you have crawled up hill pulling a truck through thick mud, at the end of the day your to do list is longer than when you started in the morning.
As I am finishing the day I reflected on a day where in my mind I had achieved nothing, but when I break it down it’s not really as bad as I think, I took time out this morning to support my daughter who struggles with her health and terrible anxiety to the point it literally consumes everything around her, some days I don’t realize how difficult her world is and taking time out to rationalize with a person who is not in a rationalizing state of mind can be a little challenging, anyway today was that day when time was short, but it was important to stop the clock and just pause to solve the problem. If I had one huge wish right now it would be to turn her health back two years and see her just run and laugh again.
A full day of back to back clients and then a mad race to a center who had kindly collected baby items for a man who’s wife had died of COVID just 2 weeks after delivering her baby. Arranging some CSR to leverage the value of these items, then dealing with another family on the phone on the way home who have lost everything and more than you can imagine when their employer took off and skipped the country.
Home to a message that a lady in hospital was waiting to be taken into jail for having had a baby out of marriage, but she has no money, no clothes and no items for the baby. Speaking to her to give her support and make sure she knows I will get some items to her tomorrow for her baby, connecting her with a charity that will provide basic legal support and ensure her baby gets the correct paper work and birth certificate. Connecting another family to a charity to help them pay their exorbitant hospital fees, then packing the car up with baby items for a family who have no money to buy food and diapers or clothes for their baby and by the way no food for themselves but they are only worried about their baby.
A quick mail shot, few invoices, supper, connecting mum with my dads cousin through a video call, heading mum from off trying to go down the road to the chapel (its a long journey from Dubai to Nolton) and then trying to side step her to unpack the lorry with the baby items that have been delivered from the centre.
In between this a business assignment with Mikey, prepping a mail shot for quick delivery. Some speculative emails to try and get better reach for Stop and Help, sorting out a CV for a lovely lady who needs some help to find a job after losing hers during this crisis and checking in on the families I personally sponsor to make sure they are ok.
I guess on reflection today wasn’t a complete write-off, sure there are still things on my to do list, but a positive impact on three families in real crisis is not “nothing”.
Tomorrow morning I am helping a lady rescue some dogs, so please let me know if anyone has any room in their hearts to help! There is plenty of scope right now for so many people to step forward and do even the smallest thing to make someone else’s life just that little bit easier.

Thank you

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Kindness Stories

Barbara’s Story

My name is Barbara and I’m from Cameroon and I live with my three-year-old son Bryan in Sharjah. I work in fashion retail, but the mall was closed mid-March, so I stopped working and getting a salary. We have been managing ever since, but it has been very, very rough.

Bryan is a bit naughty, but a lovely boy. He understands. He always wants to see me happy. If he were awake now, he would ask me, ‘mummy, why are you crying?’ He would tell me, ‘mummy, everything will be ok, mummy smile!’.
He is my inspiration.

That is why I hang onto him, why I don’t want to let him go back home. Until he will start school, at least I will have the joy of being with him.

I came here for greener pastures in 2009, to help my family, especially my mum, who has been sick. I met my husband here and we got married, but things have not been so good. He had some visa issues and almost two years ago he had to go back home to Nigeria. He cannot come back to the UAE now, and cannot send anything at all. In fact, sometimes we have to support him since he couldn’t find a job back home.

I now work for three days a week with a 50% pay cut. I owe two months rent. The landlord is very nice; he asked me if I have any money to give him, he would really appreciate it. I worked and got some money but I cannot pay for the two months. If I don’t pay the two months pending, he cannot again keep me. I pray he remains understanding until something else comes up.

I will try to get someone to share the room with me and Bryan. It will be of great help to me. I was a bit scared of the virus. What if the person I stay with is not careful and brings the virus home?

My dream now is to go back home and set up a business. At least I can stay with my husband and take care of the baby. Also, when Bryan starts school, I really want to be there for him.

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Kindness Stories

Jojo’s Story

I’m Jojo and, like my wife, Karen, I work in hospitality in Dubai. We met in the hotel where we were both working, and have been married for two years. We are blessed with an adorable daughter, Frances, who turns one in June.

We never thought that we would have to seek help, as we both have jobs, but things did not turn out that way. We were not able to save for this situation. Since we both work in hospitality, we’ve been badly affected by Covid-19. The hotel where Karen used to work has closed; my hotel is still operational, but I have been on unpaid leave since March and I have no idea when I will go back.

My wife planned to take Frances back home to the Philippines but there were no flights and now that the flights are starting it’s hard for us to take the risk. Anyway, we do not want her to go. We can’t live without her.

Before the pandemic started, she loved going out, either to the park or the beach. We feel sad now as we can’t do that anymore. She is stuck at home watching YouTube. My wife feels guilty, as Frances’ cousins can do a lot more back home. But what would hurt us more would be if we leave her alone in the Philippines with her grandparents, that’s why as much as possible we will keep her with us.

We can’t afford to pay for our rent, so we divided our studio room into three partitions and found three people to share with us. We are just hoping that things will go back to normal but it is still far from reality so we just need to live every day until it gets better.

Stop and Help was the first group we decided to ask for help from, as it focuses on families, especially kids. I didn’t expect anything but one day I was shocked because someone rang our bell and told us we have groceries for delivery. We are so overwhelmed by what we received.

After this pandemic and once we go back to work, if there is a chance to help other people as well, we will share and help as much as we can.

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Kindness Stories

Justin’s Story

My name is Justin and I’m 30 years old. I’m the father of a one-year-old girl called Loreen.

I moved to the UAE with my wife Ellaine 10 years ago, and my little daughter was born in March 2019.

My dream as a father is to give everything and the best of possibilities to my family. Before the pandemic, I was working in a tourism company as a visa administrator. I have been with this company for six years, but as the tourism business is down, I have been put on unpaid leave. It is a very difficult situation right now, especially because we have our daughter to sustain and bills to pay. I have been applying for jobs but I haven’t received any answers.

My wife is currently working as a real estate admin, however also her company has also been affected and has reduced her salary.

We find it really hard to cover the daily dues but we still try to manage and survive.

Loreen has missed a lot of immunization appointments. The pediatrician is asking us to get three booster vaccines at the earliest as they are overdue, but because they are not covered from our insurance we would need pay out of pocket.

At this moment we cannot afford it, and I am concerned for my daughter as I wish the best for her.
Thank God our daughter is healthy and very active. She is so smart and naughtier each day. We love her so very much and we will do everything for her.

When we found out that we would be getting support from Stop and Help, Ellaine and I felt really happy and excited, knowing that we will get some help for my daughter’s needs. The support left us speechless.

In the near future, my wife and I have decided to go back to the Philippines. However we will still try to find jobs here before giving up. I would love to have my own small business in the Philippines, and buy a house so we can have our own home. I also wish that Loreen gets a good education.

I would like to encourage more kindhearted people to come forward and spread your hands to help all families in need during this current time. We really need your support now, especially for our children who do not know or understand what is happening in the world.
God will return all your kindness back!
I hope one day, that my family too can return the received help to other people in need.

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Kindness Stories

Moddy’s Story

I’m Moddy, and I live in Dubai with my wife, Rosemary, and our daughter, Elizma, who is 9. We’re from Kenya. It has been more than three years since we visited our country, and we just long to go home.

Last November, I was to travel to go check on my parents, both of whom were heart patients, but our daughter, who has diabetes, needed to be hospitalised.

I rescheduled my travel for March 15, 2020, but two days before that came the news that anyone leaving would not be able to return to the UAE. So I cancelled my trip, to plan an exit with my entire family.

On March 22, Dad was admitted with heart failure and on March 23, he passed on.
The same day, my mother was informed of my dad’s passing on, and she collapsed and died.

Due to the requirement for burial within 48 hours, and restricted movement, they were buried on March 25, and their only son wasn’t there.

My wife and I met while working in the tourism industry. She is my rock. I love her so much. When our daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, she left her job to care for her. After I lost my job in 2015, I worked for another company, but it closed in 2017; I was also a co-owner of a tourism company in Kenya, but the political and security situation forced us to bow out. Since then, I have been doing short-term jobs, from assisting running a furniture shop, to playing music in church and shipping car parts.

We could not afford my daughter’s school fees, so we have been homeschooling her the best way we could — borrowing what is being covered in class from her grade mates. She loves maths and English, and she is very musical. She loves playing the violin.

Someone suggested we reached out to Stop and Help as we had nothing left, after paying for my parents’ medical bills and burial.

We are looking forward to restarting our life in Dubai. I see more opportunities here in the near future. I chose to evolve with the tourism and travel industry through the Coronavirus situation .Tourism and travel is my passion. In five years, I will be one of the employers here in the UAE, strong enough to help others out, just as you are.

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