'Roughing it out in Lebanon was futile'

  • 29/11/2006

Why did you go to Lebanon?
Survival was a struggle. My husband earned a pittance as a vegetable vendor and we had to take care of our two boys and three girls. The children were then 19, 17, 15, 14 and 4, respectively. They needed food, clothes, books and shoes. It became really tough when my third child, Kajendani, attained age in 2000 and she had to walk more than a mile, alone, to collect water for cooking, washing or bathing.

It is a difficult choice because young children can get abused when they venture far away outside the house. This was a serious problem for us and we longed to have water at home. A tube well costs over Sri Lankan Rs 100,000 (us $1,000) but where would we find that kind of money?

It was then that I decided to go abroad to work.

Pillars had pinioned my arms and both were broken. It was only when I woke up in hospital that I recounted