Like many around the world, Fatima and her husband, Costa, believed that COVID-19 would pass soon. But as the months dragged on, they soon realized that this pandemic would have long-term effects on their country, Brazil, and their home.
“COVID-19 came to steal many people's dreams, including mine,” says Fatima, who worked as a hotel maid. She was one of the many in the tourism industry who lost their jobs early in the pandemic. After just two months on the job, Fatima was let go, and her husband was also unemployed.
“The concern with household bills and how we would buy the month's groceries stole my sleep more than any threat from the virus,” says Fatima. “Our routine has completely changed with the pandemic. My children stopped going to school and were stuck at home. I love having my kids around, but they started to get anxious with the lack of freedom.”
Fatima, who didn’t finish high school, struggled to help her children with online school. “Our frustration would have been even tougher had it not been for the care and support of the volunteers at the child development center my children have attended since they were small,” she says. “Even when the center closed its doors due to the pandemic, they did not abandon my children.”
The Compassion partner church-based center delivered meals and groceries to Fatima’s home, as well as hand sanitizer and masks. Fatima says the center also arranged for psychological support for the anxiety that her children were feeling. And now, Fatima has been hired at the center to help clean and prepare for the day when the children will be able to return!
“I still don't know how much longer this pandemic will last, but we can already see the light of better days,” says Fatima. “When all this is over, I will worship God in gratitude for all that he has done in our lives at this time. Despite the hardships I can see his provision and blessing on us.”