We first met Shathi last year when she was working in a garment factory. When we caught up with her again recently, she was out of work but she told us about the impact Covid-19 has had on her family.

Her husband used to work 20 days each month, but since the pandemic started, he has only had 10 days of work each month. With Shathi out of work and her husband getting less work, the family can’t afford to pay the NZ$52 monthly rent on their room. Shathi and her husband have a seven-year old son and a five-month old daughter. The family of four live in a single room that leaks in the rain, making the bed wet. Shathi describes it as “adversity”. While the family can’t pay rent, the landlord won’t fix the leaks.

Shathi is worried about her family during the pandemic. She says, “There are ten rooms on the floor where we live and about 25 people live here. For all of us there is only one toilet and one bathroom. In the morning you have to be in a queue to use them. There is not enough space to maintain physical distancing.”


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