“I’ve been in Kuwait for over 30 years. I stayed here because my three children needed to go to school, and I didn’t have anyone who could take care of them so I had to keep working here.
But when the tsunami hit Sri Lanka ten years ago, it destroyed my house and I had to buy everything again. I haven’t been able to return home and see my family for six years now.
I’m 56 years old and I’ve lived in Kuwait longer than I have in my own country. I started having sight problems a few years ago. As I could not see well, I couldn’t work anymore. My sponsor didn’t renew my contract, so I didn’t have a residency permit anymore and could not afford a doctor.
I went to my embassy, and they referred me to a shelter. The ladies working there helped me with everything. They were able to get me an eye transplant for one eye and a new lens for the other. And now I can see!
I’m planning to go back to Sri Lanka soon. I’m really excited to see my grandchildren for the first time—not just to meet or hear them, but to actually see them!”
Shanika was able to seek assistance and reside in a shelter run by the Government of Kuwait.