“PROVIDE FOR ME & I WILL TAKE PREVENTIVE MEASURES”, LIFE IN THE SLUMS.

Millynairi
Posted July 6, 2020 from Kenya
“PROVIDE FOR ME & I WILL TAKE PREVENTIVE MEASURES”, LIFE IN THE SLUMS.

It is easy to say “Clean your hands often, use soap and water, or an alcohol - based hand sanitizer. It is easy to say maintain social distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. It is easy to say wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible, don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth and it is easy to say cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze and stay home.

I live in the slums, I buy water for use, sometimes soap is a luxury, and so I can’t even dream of an alcohol - based hand sanitizer; this, I only see from afar. I can hardly afford it.

You tell me to keep a distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing? Yes I would love to, but I need to be with my neighbor. She is the only one who understands me. We have come a long way. When I don’t have any meal, we share hers and when she doesn’t have, we share mine. We have been in tough times together. No one has been with me when I am sick except her. I can’t leave her when she is coughing. This is the time she needs me most. Therefore, we shall fight the cough together. After all, we share our utensils and if I distance myself from her one of us won’t eat.

I would love to wear a mask. I really believe the pandemic is deadly. However, I can’t afford it. I haven’t had a meal for the last two days. The KES. 50/= for buying a mask would be enough for me to buy something to feed my empty stomach. I am torn between the two. Should I die from hunger or prevent the disease?

Yes, I have been told severally not to touch my eyes, nose or mouth; and to cover my nose and mouth with my bent elbow or a tissue when I cough or sneeze. I will not touch my eyes, nose or mouth, but I am too weak to even raise my bent elbow to cover my nose and mouth. I said I haven’t had any meal for the last two days. Tissue? I don’t use tissue. I can’t afford it and I only have one handkerchief which you say I shouldn’t use as it is unhygienic.

You tell me to “stay home” while I have children to feed; I buy water for use and pay something in order to use the public toilet. Life can’t continue with me staying home.

I have been educated and I appreciate. I know what I am supposed to do and I would love to, but the circumstances surrounding me can’t allow me to. I appreciate the education but I need to be empowered, if I can’t be provided for and I will take preventive measures. After all, who wants to die? I wouldn’t love to. I would love to get out of this life but something has to be done. I am ready, I am willing, help me out!

As I visited a slum area during this pandemic, my heart was overwhelmed to see the needs in the slums. They have been educated on the preventive measures which they can hardly adhere to because of the circumstances surrounding them. The first day I visited I took face masks, and they were glad but I could see needy faces of those who were expecting to receive basic needs. As I distributed the face masks, keeping the social distance was a challenge as everyone wanted to grab, including the children. The second time was distribution of maize flour and keeping the distance was a bit of a challenge though I had to come up with a way of queuing which made it easier. The needs in the slums are enormous, and we have to provide for them especially during this pandemic when they are in dire need. “Provide for me & I will take preventive measures”. Life in the slums!

 

This story was submitted in response to Dispatches from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Comments 39

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Bakhita.Atit
Jul 07
Jul 07

Hello Milly,
Thank you for sharing this story, and thanks for your generosity towards Kenyans in the slums during this difficult times of pandemic. We all relate to this story and it takes someone who have there to understand the slums and the difficulties they are experiencing during these times. May the Lord continue to bless the work of your hands.

Millynairi
Jul 08
Jul 08

Thanks Bakhita

Chidimma
Jul 07
Jul 07

Hello Dear Milly, what a lovely but pathetic story about life in the slum you shared. Is indeed that many are suffering due to the pandemic. But one thing is sure, we'll heal as one and also get over it soon. God bless all you do to put smiles on faces. Thanks for sharing.
Love,
Chidimma.

Millynairi
Jul 08
Jul 08

Yes, Chidimma, we will definitely get over it. God is in control

Isata Kabia
Jul 07
Jul 07

Thank you Millynairi for your empathy. It’s truly thoughtful to hi light this. The pandemic is additionally difficult for people whose lives are already a daily struggle. Thanks for your support to these communities.

Millynairi
Jul 08
Jul 08

Dear Isata, I appreciate your encouragement. Thank you

Hello, Milly,

Your compassion for people is one of your strengths. One can only paint a picture on the impact of COVID-19 on the slums if she sees it herself, and you did. How heartbreaking!

This is such a powerful message, dear. Thank you for being the voice of the deprived community. It's not easy to follow what seems to be basic instructions when the situation in the slums are complex.

Great job on writing this one, sis Milly! Kudos for speaking up! Keep up the important work! Hugs always!

Millynairi
Jul 08
Jul 08

Dear Karen,
Your encouragement means a lot to me. Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, I have purposed to continue.

Chi8629
Jul 08
Jul 08

Thank you for sharing .

Millynairi
Jul 08
Jul 08

Dear Chi,
Thanks too for taking time to read my story

Chi8629
Jul 08
Jul 08

You are welcome anytime Dear Millynairi .

Nanduhura123
Jul 09
Jul 09

GOOD

Millynairi
Jul 10
Jul 10

Thanks Nanduhura.

Paul Seay
Jul 09
Jul 09

Millynairi,

Thank you so much for giving me a look outside of my American bubble. We are extremely fortunate in the United States to have masks, hand sanitizer, and basic necessities at our fingertips. How can I help financially to assist you in providing these crucial items to others?

Millynairi
Jul 10
Jul 10

Thanks Paul for your concern. I have sent you a message

Ttantivi
Jul 09
Jul 09

Hi Milly,
I appreciate you sharing your story. It is very sobering to see other viewpoints to this rare universal event where almost everyone in the world is experiencing.

Millynairi
Jul 10
Jul 10

Thanks Ttantivi,
Our hope and prayer is that this pandemic ends soon.

SantiagoRegan
Jul 09
Jul 09

Hello Milly,
This story is so powerful and gives valuable insight into a disconnect within society: we expect everyone to follow guidelines, but do not provide the necessary tools to be successful in that endeavor. Thank you for supporting and lifting up your community.

Millynairi
Jul 10
Jul 10

Much appreciated Santiago. So true, people are willing to follow guidelines but they cannot afford.

Tamarack Verrall
Jul 10
Jul 10

Hello Milly,
Such an important message and such important work. This is the news that is not being widely enough reported, making clear what needs to made the priority. I hope many more from North America will respond in the way that Paul has. My country's guidelines for a mask include any cotton if it has 2 layers. some of us use a kerchief. You have a beautiful heart and a message that hopefully will shift and open perceptions, knowledge and hearts.

Millynairi
Jul 10
Jul 10

Thank you Tamarack for finding time to read my post and for your comments.

Elizabeth Ziro
Jul 12
Jul 12

Hi Milly,
A noble initiative. "Provide for me and I will take preventing measures "

Hawwah
Jul 13
Jul 13

Weldone Millynairi,
I know this only too well. It is such a tragedy that we still have such unexplained and unjust poverty levels in our societies.
Standing up and speaking out is the first step we must take to change the narrative.
keep going, Girl. Thumbs up to you.

MUKABA ZAWADI
Jul 14
Jul 14

Well said and continue with this generosity, it's so lovely

Millynairi
Jul 14
Jul 14

Thanks Mukaba.

Millynairi
Jul 14
Jul 14

Thanks Hawwah for finding time to read.

Arem
Jul 17
Jul 17

Hi Milly,
I hope you're well. Thank you for sharing your story and more importantly, thank you for all the work you're doing to help those in need!!! You're an angel sent from above. May God continue to bless you and shine his face upon you.
Sending you lots of love.

Tendo
Jul 17
Jul 17

Thank you sister for your beautiful heart and changing lives during this pandemic and sharing their needs

Millynairi
Jul 17
Jul 17

Dear Tendo,
I appreciate your comments.

otahelp
Jul 18
Jul 18

Dear Milly,

It is the same story everywhere. Inequalities and Poverty had widened more because of this pandemic. The gap is so much and our hope of things getting better is not yet at sight. Trust you are safe and your Family too

Millynairi
Jul 18
Jul 18

Thanks for your comments Ota. Yes, I am safe and family too. Hope you too and family are safe.

ARREY- ECHI
Jul 24
Jul 24

Hello Milly,

Thank you for sharing this reality. This is sadly, a reality often overlooked. It is difficult for people to adhere strictly to these basics if they do not have for basics to stay alive.

Sometimes talking and acting goes a long way.

Thank you for all you do.

Millynairi
Jul 24
Jul 24

So true Echi. Talking and acting goes a long way.

Fefe22
Jul 28
Jul 28

Milly,

You captured the essence of the slums. It was as if we were there with you feeling and seeing the pain. Thank you for opening our eyes and reminding us that in this time of COVID many of us still struggle with the basics. Please know how powerful your words are and continue to do what you do.

Millynairi
Jul 30
Jul 30

Thanks for your comments Fefe.

Vanora.Lee
Aug 07
Aug 07

I feel so sad to know all these. Pray for God's abundant supply to the slums and keep you safe during your love acts! Salute to you! Stay safe and well!

Millynairi
Aug 08
Aug 08

Thanks for your kind comments Vanora.

RAkinyi
Aug 27
Aug 27

Dear Milly,
Thank you very much for your act of kindness. You are a blessing to the less fortunate especially during these difficult times. May God provide you with the resources to reach many more.

Millynairi
Aug 27
Aug 27

Thanks dear. I bless the Lord. Thanks for your kind words.