Nanjala, a single mother of two, Left Kenya for Dubai in 2018 after struggling financially to provide for herself and the youngest child. Through a community member, she was referred to an employment agency which secured a job for her in Dubai as a domestic worker. She stayed with the first employer for one month and eventually moved to another employer, a Lebanese citizen based in Dubai. After working for 4 months, together with her employer they went for a visit in Lebanon where she fell ill (hypertension) and was in coma for a month. Upon waking up, her employer had returned back to Dubai, abandoning her with her belongings at the hospital.
With no savings and in a new country, Nanjala relied on well wishers and occasional informal jobs for a year and a half. Following the explosion in Lebanon and the hard economic times related to the pandemic in 2020, many migrant workers especially domestic workers found themselves jobless and living on the streets. One of them was Nanjala who in addition to having no income was pregnant and struggling with poor health. Luckily, a well wisher paid rent for a shelter for Nanjala and four other Kenyan women , paid for their air tickets and one month’s worth of medication for Nanjala.
On 18th August 2020, Nanjala landed back in Kenya. She was at last happy to be home but unfortunately it was also the beginning of another difficult journey of reintegration. At the Airport, the other returnees gave her Kshs 500 and a lift to the City Stadium in Nairobi as they were headed in a different direction from hers. Nanjala had tried to contact her family back in Bungoma but on learning that she was pregnant, they rejected her. Stranded in the city with no accommodation, a request came in Lebanon asking if Send us home Kenya (SUHK) would assist Nanjala. SUHK tried to organise temporary accommodation for her, counseling, medical care and pre-natal care.