How would you feel if you were housed in a shipping container with one bathroom to share amongst twenty other workers? Like it or not, this is the living conditions of migrant workers all over Malaysia.
Refugees from all over the world flee their homes every day in seek of shelter and hope for a better life. Some are tricked by false agents and given invalid visas to enter Malaysia, in turn, to be thrown in jail or forced into labor. Others are smuggled in by human traffickers and treated like animals–worked to death 24/7. Around 36,000 of these refugees consist of children under 18. Children with no food, no shelter, no childhood bliss, no education, sometimes no parents, and no place to call home. These people spend their days fleeing, working, and starving. Their only priority now is to survive. All their hopes and dreams of a better life flushed away because of underhand agents, dishonest bosses, hostile people, and resistant countries.
The ones who find work are paid very low and are lodged in crude housing conditions. Here is an excerpt describing it. . .
“Many migrants live in cramped, overcrowded, unsanitary and unsafe living conditions. The majority are living in low-cost, high density, two or three bedroom flats often with about 15-20 co-workers. Others are living in make-shift wood, metal, and tarp shanties along the roadside, in the basement of parking lots, on factory or construction sites, or even in the jungles.”~Disappointed by Hope by Ambassador Dato’ Dennis Ignatius, page 30
In the neighborhood I used to live in, I could see this. Instead of fields of grass, magnificent mountains, rippling rivers, or rolling hills, the setting outside my bedroom window (facing the back of my house) was of containers piled riskily on top of each other. (The picture shown, was taken from my window) When I woke up each morning and went to bed each night, the haunting reality of real people suffering stood me in the face.
In the year 2017, there was a big landslide where I used to live. Many men died buried under the dirt–some of them were the people living in the back of my house. My mother volunteered at Tenaganita (an organization trying to help refugees) to try to help the victims’ families by asking for donations and working to help the families get insurance money from the company that had not given it yet. I and my sister did our best to help too by selling Christmas crafts and decor to earn money for them. That was two years ago and now, thanks to the Lord’s grace, most of the families have received the money.
This is not always the case though. There are still many migrant workers out there who feel unwanted, mistreated, disrespected, unheard . . . unloved. Some of us maybe remember the story of the Israelites and Moses. How they suffered years of slavery, hard labor, destitution–just like the migrant workers are now. I sincerely hope that this country and others will take a stand and raise a voice for the injustice done, and be a Moses. This verse pretty much sums up this whole post.
“Remember those . . . who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”Hebrew 13:3
If you’re thinking “So now I’ve read your post, what can I do to help these people?” My answer is:
- Pray. Prayer is powerful–I know it sounds cliche–but it’s true. Especially when a lot of you’re doing it.
- Donate. Tenaganita is an amazing organization that focuses on helping refugees and migrant workers. It would be awesome if you would donate a little or a lot, it doesn’t matter, it’s the heart that counts:) Go to http://www.tenaganita.net/ to donate now.
- Share. Share this post or tell somebody about the trials of refugees. We want to raise awareness so more people join the cry for justice.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I would love to hear your comments, questions, or insight. 🙂