Understandably, the crisis that the COVID-19 virus has caused globally has uncovered many other otherwise hidden issues. Lebanon’s Kafala system is one of these issues. For those who don’t know, a kafala system is what many Arab countries put in place to monitor the migrant workers in the country. Each worker is assigned a sponsor, who then controls many aspects of this worker’s life. Unfortunately this means that a worker cannot quit or leave the country whenever they choose to.
Banchi Yimer, the founder of the the Egna Legna Besidet (Amharic approximately translates to “from us migrants to us migrants) non profit organization based in Beirut Lebanon, speaks of the situation facing migrant domestic workers in Lebanon,
Ethiopians are approximately 77% of the total population of domestic workers across Lebanon and they form the bulk of the migrant worker population across the Middle East. In Lebanon, an economic crisis that hit the country hard in the latter half of 2019, put many domestic workers out of a job. As a result of government ordered lockdowns to contain the virus, many of these jobless Ethiopian domestic workers have no money for food and other basic necessities. They are estimated to number in the thousands in Lebanon.
At this time, they are in need of your help as the problems faced by domestic workers in Lebanon are on an unprecedented scale. They need your donations to help reach the domestic workers trapped in their homes without money for basic necessities and you can help to ensure that they are not forgotten.
Help us help them! Any amount benefits the vulnerable. You can learn more from their GoFundMe page.