The global lockdown as a result of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) has meant that many South Africans remain stranded in countries around the world.
According to Home Away from Home, an organisation formed by a group of South African volunteers, the situation for more than 2000 citizens in 130 countries, remains dire.
32-year-old Monja Brink, formerly from Cape Town, says 2020 was meant to be a fresh start in Thailand. However, COVID-19 has left her jobless and homeless in a foreign country with little money to survive each day.
“Some of us like myself, came here to work, earn a living and start a new life. With corona, companies have closed and millions have lost their jobs, I am one of them. I packed up everything in South Africa, sold everything, left my partner behind – came here for an amazing job opportunity, within 3.5 weeks, all those dreams were crushed,” says Brink.
Below are the latest stats for COVID-19:
Meanwhile, the impact of the South African lockdown has left Brink helpless and stranded at the Bangkok International Airport.
She has secured a plane ticket, with the help of borrowed money however, the grounding of flights means she is unable to return home.
“At the moment I am in an airport motel. Being stuck in a foreign country where you don’t understand their language, food is an issue, it is terrifying. Not knowing when you are going home, I have no work so I have nowhere to turn. No one to help me. I am on chronic medication, when that runs out – I will not be able to pay for it. To be here alone, and to not know that my country wants me to be safe and be at home.”
In the video below, SABC News looks at SA’s arrangements to repatriate citizens stranded overseas:
Graphic below illustrates protective measures against COVID-19: