Angela, 85: “I would like to visit my sister, but for her, I will be another mouth to feed”

Angela appears to be quite younger than her 85 years. She has never been rich. She lives in a small house in Nabaa, the poor suburb of East Beirut.

With her husband who used to work at Electricité du Liban and who died about ten years ago, she managed to raise her children, two girls and two boys, one of whom died more than 25 years ago in an accident. She rarely needed support to survive, but since the multiple crisis in Lebanon she has found it very difficult to make ends meet.

“My daughter, Josephine, who has three children, was helping me at the beginning but now she is struggling to feed her own family,” she says.

Angela, a CARE International program participant, counts her expenses: The rent, the generator subscription, the gas bottle, everything has become overpriced. “With the money I got from CARE International I was able to pay my rent, I was late on rent for a few months, buy a gas bottle, pay for some medicine and buy some food. I wanted to eat fish but it was too expensive. With the money I had left I was able to buy chicken, which was good as well,”she says.

Angela is a quiet woman, she is not used to complaining. She has always learned to do with what she has.

As the conversation progresses, she talks about her past life and what she is going through right now.
“I would sometimes go to the mountains, to my sister’s house. I don’t do this anymore. Gasoline has become too expensive. In addition, when I’m at her place, I can’t afford to shop at the grocer’s. I will be a burden for her: one more mouth to feed and she is already suffering from the situation,” she says.

On Sundays when her husband was alive, Angela used to go for a walk with her family. Her daughter, Joséphine, carried on the tradition until a few months ago. “We used to go out of Beirut, go to a restaurant or have a picnic. Today, this is part of a bygone past. Everything has increased, even the price of bread,” says Joséphine who lives a few kilometers from her mother’s and who no longer uses any transportation means to visit her in order to save money.

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