By Ben Garcia
KUWAIT: After spending more than a month in isolation, people in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Mahboula want to see the end of the lockdown soon, and hope everything will go back to normal. “This is already a very frustrating situation. I can see people crying for no reason at all. When handing over the food they need, I can sense their deep anxiety,” said May Siapno, a volunteer distributing food to Filipinos in Jleeb and Hasawi. The area is under lockdown and no one is able to leave without permission.
The Philippine Embassy is doing all it can to help Filipinos, especially those without work and no pay. “This program has been spearheaded by the Philippine Embassy for several weeks now. And until such a time that we are under lockdown, they promised us to bring food to ease the hunger of several Filipinos here. Thanks to the officials at the embassy, because we do not need to stand in long queues to get food,” Siapno said.
Kuwait Times asked some Filipinos how they felt about being isolated in Jleeb. “I thought it will last only for two weeks, but we are in lockdown for several weeks now. This is too much, and people are frustrated. We want to live normally. If this situation lasts longer, I better go home to the Philippines – in our place until now there are zero coronavirus cases,” they told Kuwait Times. “I have got food packs since the beginning of the lockdown. I really need some help from the government because our company does not want to pay us until we are back to work,” said Doms, a company truck driver.
Jojo Matildo, a Philippine Embassy volunteer who delivers food packs to Mahboula, Fahaheel, Fintas and Mangaf as well Riggae and Jahra, said: “We have several volunteers who are helping us. People’s attitudes have changed – during the first few weeks, you could see faces with a smile when you gave them the food packs. Nowadays, no more smiles. Maybe they are frustrated and sad to be recipients of relief packs,” Matildo said. “We all want to see the end of this effort done by the embassy; it’s been a very hard time for everyone. We hope the lockdown will end soon.”
“I have a child and husband. I don’t have work, and he also has no work. We are fed up. I always posted photos of the events every day, but I have given up. The posts are not helping us anymore. I keep quiet and have stopped talking with everyone. All I want is for all of us to go back to a normal life,” said Shor Sanday, a Mahboula resident.