When working with people who live on the edge of survival, every large expense can be a colossal hurdle that forces those affected to ask others for money. We just had another lesson in unforeseen costs in the face of a tragedy.
One of our children at the centre, Kaiti, lost his mother three weeks ago. His father had already passed away and Kaiti has been living with his grandmother, Ester, ever since. Ester, who supports seven children (five of her own and two grandchildren), is bearing the burden of all funeral expenses for her daughter-in-law. Kaiti’s mother is from Angola and her family wants her body shipped back to their country so that she can rest in peace near her roots. This is an incredible burden for Ester since she must have her daughter-in-law’s body embalmed and meet all of the other requirements before she can ship the body north. She does not have the money and so Kaiti’s mother’s body remains at the morgue.
Another member at Family of Hope Services told us that a number of years ago, when her brother-in-law was very ill, they had him travel back to his country just in case he did not pull through. They knew that it would be unaffordable for them to send his body back across the border should he have passed away.
Family of Hope Services is looking for any government assistance to help Ester with this process.