26 NOV, 2020. Governments say we must get used to living with Covid-19 as the new normal. That is fine for the likes of us, but it is not fine for the millions of migrant and refugee peoples living in the UK and other European countries. Sarah, a single mother with a four-year-old son, was employed as a housekeeper, earning wages that barely sustained them. At the March lockdown, Sarah was dismissed from her job for fear she would infect the household. She was given her last week’s wages and that was it.
Sarah, like many undocumented migrants, was without access to services. Fortunately, she belongs to Waling-Waling, set up to support migrant workers and campaign for their rights. The organisation has been able to help Sarah pay her rent and get access to a foodbank. She says, “many are worse off than me,” but it is still a struggle. The Sisters of St Louis English Community contribute to Waling-Waling, which enables them to assist other needy members, and Margaret Healy SSL has been involved in supporting migrant domestic workers’ rights in the UK since the late 1970s, and continues to support them today.
To read more about Sr Margaret’s work with migrants and refugees during the pandemic, click on the latest edition of Musings, our monthly newsletter – Issue 102.