COVID-19 Emergency Response
Disclaimer: ADRA Tunisia has the full permission of Neila to publish her story and photos.
Neila, a 40-year-old mother of 4 children, works hard to provide for her family. Her husband, who lost an eye in the past, suffered another accident at work just the day before the money distribution and lost his second eye; and now he is completely blind. As a business owner of a small restaurant, Neila was able to sustain her family. But unfortunately, when the government declared the national lockdown because of the COVID-19, Neila had to close her restaurant for three full months. Because this was the family’s only source of income, Neila found herself in a situation where she couldn’t pay the rent for both business and apartment. The landlord of the apartment started pressuring Neila to pay the rent, but understanding her condition, the landlord forgave Neila’s debts but asked her to find somewhere else to live. Day by day, she searched for small jobs but her efforts were not successful. That added more pressure to her situation. As a last resort, Neila put her house’s furniture for sale and started gathering plastic bottles in the street to take to recycling factories. The little money that she earned could barely allow her to provide for her family the basic needs.
When ADRA contacted Neila, she was on the verge of despair and was in urgent need to be supported; but also, she simply needed someone to listen to her. “I feel so tired…” she said as tears started to roll down her cheeks. “Before ADRA’s confirmation call, I was losing hope in life. I asked myself many times what was the point of life with so much suffering.” ADRA was present to provide an ear to listen to her and assist her with unconditional cash that was able to bring Neila some relief and hope. Two days after the distribution, she called ADRA’s team to gratefully inform that she was able to move to another place. This small gesture not only helped Neila pay her debts and help her find a new place to live but also in renewing her strength and hope in life.