Sunday, September 9, 2012

Silent Auction for Displaced Ethiopian Maids

A few months ago, I reconnected with a former classmate of mine. Jamie and I attended High School together in Wyoming. I rode the bus and went to church with two of her cousins. It has been a pleasure to reconnect with Jamie through FB. She is currently living in Kuwait so we like to swap experiences about living in the Middle East.

Jamie has a big heart and a wonderful desire to share her faith. Her posts about loving God and trying to be a better wife and mother always inspire me. Jamie is also anxiously engaged in good works.

She, with some other women living in Kuwait, have organized a charity auction to help Displaced Ethiopian Maids in Kuwait. I have donated three scrapbooks that I have made. You can find the Silent Auction page here.

Want to donate or participate? Go to the FB page and look at the items available for auction. You can also donate money without bidding on items.

Please remember that this is a very good cause. I was given the following information when I decided to participate in the auction.

The Salvation Army has a villa (house) that houses runaway Ethiopian maids. Typically these maids would stay at the Ethiopian embassy but because there are already close to 500 maids residing there this house takes as much of the overflow as they can. Typically they have 30-40 women at the house. They all have different stories, such as abuse, rape, no pay, unfavorable working conditions and the list goes on.

Unfortunately when they come to work in Kuwait they are basically sold by an agency to a Kuwaiti for 500KD and the Kuwaiti gets the maids' passport and agrees to pay her 40kd ($145) a month. With this money she has to buy her own toiletries, food and any other things. Not to mention she will be sending half of that money to help support her family in Ethiopia where inflation is at 300% or so frown These maids take care of the children (Kuwaitis like to make babies), cook, clean, and do whatever else they are told. 

When the maid runs away it is without her passport so even if she just wanted to leave Kuwait she can not. What happens then is the maids Kuwaiti employer goes and files with the Kuwait government that the maid has run away and then can even file further complaints against this maid. If the maid is found by the police she will be taken to jail and forced to sit in a cell with a 100 other people, 1 toilet and very little food and she may even suffer abuse at the hands of the police. She could be there for months before they finally deport her. When the maids go to embassy then the embassy takes them in and they begin the long process of helping the maid either get back home or get her passport from her former employer so that she can seek employment elsewhere. This is where the Salvation Army comes in and helps with the overflow of these women. Again the process is long and the maid is without pay and goes home without a dime! (This info was given on FB from Lianna Moder).

These are the 3 scrapbooks I made and donated. If you can help and want to participate just go to the FB auction page and either donate or bid. Best wishes!

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