Can we help provide a safe and healthy space for mother and child?
Malaysia / Lebanon
Sophia is from a Muslim majority country, a mom and a wife. She has been living abroad with her husband as their marriage is illegal in their home country due to the difference in their religious origins. Their situation has been increasingly dire as covid restrictions change and domestic violence escalates in her marriage, and now Sophia needs a place to live with her child.
|Case: Sofia from Somalia|
Start date: december 2020
Support: living costs and support to start a small business to support himself
Budget needed: support for living costs and traveling
Funded (June 2021): € 452,03
Sofia is a member of this community. If you want to get in touch or have a question for him, you can ask him directly via her profile page.
May 2021 – Imagine having your life as you know it ripped away from you suddenly and being forced to escape to a foreign country, all because someone’s beliefs demonize your existence. Consider all you would have to leave behind: family, friends, your career…the only home you have ever known. This is a sad reality for many atheists in majority Muslim countries, and having children makes the situation even more difficult and dire. Meet Sophia, who knows this reality all too well. Her journey has been a treacherous one and it isn’t over yet.
Sophia recalls many fond memories of her past life. She was once a thriving young woman who worked in marketing and tourism and loved connecting with others. Sophia is a talented dancer, writer, and painter as well, and used to enjoy creative projects and learning new skills like computer programming and foreign languages. Then everything changed. This brave woman is now facing violence and discrimination, and she now has a son to protect and care for, all while the pandemic rages on and makes travel and locating safe housing even more difficult. Today, she must spend most of her time caring for her sweet eighteen-month-old child and searching for ways to ensure their continued safety. They are literally on the run.
Due to having to flee her home country, Sophia found herself in an incredibly difficult situation as a brand new mother. She had no one to help her–no family or acquaintances to give her advice on how to care for a baby. There were no other women who would help her learn to breastfeed, soothe a crying infant, or entertain the curious child. There was and is no one to babysit, no one to share experiences and comfort, and no one to congratulate Sophia on her incredible resiliency through it all. While she has done an amazing job on her own so far, she looks back sadly at the traumatic months of facing these new challenges unassisted and wishes it could have been different. She longs to someday be of support and encouragement to other women who are going through this extremely difficult and lonely situation by themselves. We all know that it takes a village to raise a child, and if Sophia is able to get to a better place, she could be part of that support network for others.
While Sophia misses her old life, her son is now her only priority. She laments that he is growing up in such tumultuous circumstances and wishes he could meet and play with other children his own age. At eighteen months, he is already very intelligent and curious about the world around him. He would thrive in an environment where he can learn, play, enjoy being outside in nature, and create things with his mom and other loving caretakers. Children benefit so much from learning through play and by developing relationships with kids of the same age group. We must help to show him that other people can be kind and generous and that his unique skills can contribute much to the world and to all of our shared well being.
Sophia’s life changed drastically not because of any wrongdoing she did, but because her beliefs do not align with those of the Muslims in power in her home country. They do not care that this smart young woman and child have so much potential–in their mind, all non-Muslims are evil and deserving of death. Such is the danger in theocratic government. When seeking assistance and refuge, this mother and son had little luck. Sophia was even told to her face that she and her son should just die. They couldn’t even get support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. All of this has been exacerbated by COVID restrictions. The promise of assistance by International Association of Atheists is their last hope.
We want to help Sophia and her son get to a place of peace and security. By supporting her through the process of obtaining passports for herself and her son, we can ensure that the two of them arrive in a new place that they can call home–a place free of discrimination and danger. Only then will Sophia be able to give her baby boy a happy, healthy life and eventually be able to re-discover everything she used to love learning and doing.
Please consider donating any amount possible to assist us with this goal. Every dollar can help make a happy, comfortable life a reality for this little family that has already been through so much. Even if you can’t support this effort financially, we would appreciate your support in spreading the word of this campaign to friends and family. Awareness of situations like Sophia’s is the first step towards eradicating such inhumane treatment for our atheist friends worldwide.