#FarFromHome: Blaise

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Welcome to our global #FarFromHome series: reflections on the time of Covid-19 from people who are are far from their family and home-country. We hope this brings comfort and reassurance. We chat to Blaise, who is from DRC and lives in South Africa.

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Has anything brought you hope or inspiration during this time? Firstly, I’m a Christian and believe in God. I never lost hope, despite the way the situation got worse and uncontrollable but I believed that God will restore peace. I started spending more time with my neighbors and eventually getting to know them well. Sharing was an amazing experience during the pandemic.  

What other emotions has this period brought for you? I have never experienced a period such as this and It is clear that covid19 is an exceptional pandemic which destroyed many lives and destabilized the world economy. In some instant, life became uncertain. I was surprised and shocked to see in Italy, people celebrating when they only had 800 deaths a day. I believe that life is sacred even one death is a loss. 

What in your life history has made you better able to deal with this situation?  I understood that life is a mysterious journey. People need to help one another, care for the vulnerable and make the weaker ones stronger. 

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Thinking about the covid-19 pandemic, what good qualities has it brought out in you?  I became more sociable than before. But also thought I must become more economical. I understood that I shouldn’t take my freedom for granted but rather use it constructively and intelligently for the best interest of the community.  

Has this experience changed your interaction with your neighbours or community? In my neighborhood things were a little different. More people ignored the danger of the pandemic. Everyone was tired of sleeping or staying indoors. Therefore, people started spending more time outside to enjoy the sun and interacting at the same time. This has given me a strong plot to get to know the neighbors, what they do and what they think… 

What would be your advice to those people facing difficult situations at this time? We need to be strong and never lose hope. I understand that things are even worse especially when you are far from home because the government somehow can assist foreigners in certain level. However, the privilege is firstly given to citizens which is logical.  

As for individuals, every time we put food on our table, we shall remember those who don’t have. The least we can do, is to share with people around us, contribute to accredited charities NGO that help many people when we can. 10 rand won’t really do much but can make a difference. 

We pray that things get to normal very soon. 

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