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COVID-19:The Painful Distance

Dear women and girls, 

The last time I saw or heard from you was some time at the beginning of this year 2020. Your heart was troubled but amidst that I was able to hug you, shake your hand and smile with you. We shared our thoughts, achievements, struggles and challenges under the tree and sometimes in a shared room where we sat close to one another and these were our safe spaces where we found solace. I have been anxiously waiting to come back to our safe spaces to share our plans, our struggles and achievements only to hear that we cannot come back and sit together again as a family to build our sisterhood.

My heart breaks at the thought of not holding you, hugging you, wiping your tears or being able to tell you it’s going to be alright. I can’t imagine what you are going through as I continue to hear the tears in your voice calling out for help.

Since the 1970s we have been struggling to dry our tears and take away this physical, sexual, economic and political pain and challenge the structural inequalities that continue to increase this unforgettable pain and vulnerability.

For the last two decades we have weathered many storms that have continued to impart pain and while on this journey we have worked together tirelessly just to have peace in our hearts, homes and communities. However, it has not been easy, but yes, we had moved a millstone.

What happened yesterday, where has the light gone? Why do we feel so far away, why have we abandoned our safe spaces?

I open my eyes to check my mail, the news, my social media accounts, my neighbors and I all I hear is do not come close, keep your social distance because of COVID-19.

I stretch my hand to reach out to you my sister but I cannot. Why does the distance between us feel so painful? I did not see this coming , COVID- 19 social distance separating me from my sister , but yes but it is the reality , it has shattered all my Socio-economic structures and help I could get from my sisters because I cannot reach out to you any more in our safe space.

The distance is so painful that you and I feel broken, but that doesn’t mean that COVID-19 has won. All of us at Foundation for Integrated Rural Development (FIRD) hope that you and your families are in good health, we know it is tough since we all are struggling to reach for the basics that we need. This painful distance continues to affect us all in various unimaginable ways. But don’t give up, hold on to your inner spirit know that as sisters we are right there in each other’s heart no matter where we are because our sisterhood dwells within our hearts.