A widow’s hope against all odds
08 August 2013

Mehemiah is employed to assist the trainees in the tailoring centre run by JRS Delhi (Molly Mullen/ JRS)
I can’t afford to send him to any school so he helps around. Due to our financial situation, he works as a waiter at late night parties”, Mehemiah said.
New Delhi, 8 August 2013 – Mehemiah, a Chin woman from Burma, has undergone a lot of hardship providing for her family for eight years. "I was widowed eight years back and struggled to keep my family together. However, to escapes religious persecution I had to flee to India along with my three young children, leaving my teenage daughter behind. I had no one to turn to except for companion refugees who were in the same situation like me", she said. Life for her was series of struggles and she persistently plans for a better future for her children.

"My eldest son is 14 years old and is not eligible for admission to the Don Bosco classes, as he is above ten years of age though my younger children are enrolled there. I can't afford to send him to any school so he helps around. Due to our financial situation, he works as a waiter at late night parties", Mehemiah said. She was working in a local readymade tailoring shop until she began having trouble with her eyesight. "Gradually my left eye was infected and affected the quality of my work; hence I lost my job. I was dependent on my church and other refugees for feeding my family and paying the room rent”, she said. 

Right now she is employed to assist the trainees in the tailoring centre run by the Jesuit Refugee Service. She is happy that she is able to live a life of dignity. Unfortunately, she has lost the sight of her left eye, and her right eye has got infected recently. She is currently undergoing treatment for the same in AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science), New Delhi.

She hopes the situation back home will improve. "I want to return to Burma, and want my children to see their country and get quality education which I cannot afford here. But, it all depends on whether democracy is established in Burma", Mehemiah said. (Names have been changed to protect the person's identity)

Ashish Anthony, Regional Programme Officer, JRS South Asia






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