Now Diane only earns around a fifth of what she had done before the pandemic from the sale of plastic sandals, and some days goes without making a sale at all.
“Nowadays, we just have one meal per day and it’s not by choice. It’s all we can afford,” says Diane.
Following temporary closure during the pandemic, Diane was able to reopen her business after receiving a grant from CREAW.
With the pandemic disrupting access to domestic abuse support services, CREAW, with support from Christian Aid, adapted its activities during the coronavirus emergency to help ensure women and girls who are living in slums and who have survived domestic abuse receive much needed support and begin to recover.
This includes emotional and social support to help survivors to heal from traumatic experiences and build self-esteem, livelihood skills training to help them to find work and rebuild their lives and by providing cash grants to shelters to help them to provide survivors with food, clothes and sanitary items.
CREAW also provides monthly cash grants directly to survivors themselves as well as to women and girls from vulnerable families living in the slums to help them to pay rent, buy food and water, as well as cover the cost of medical expenses and support their businesses. Legal aid is also provided to survivors to help them secure restraining orders against abusers as well as initiate and follow court proceedings virtually.
These support services made a real difference to the lives of Bella and Diane during the pandemic and continue to be a lifeline for many more women in need of help during their darkest hour.