Desperate South Africans, stranded in Indonesia, have compiled a video pleading for help to get home to SA. (Please see bottom of page for urgent info if you’re stuck in the region.)
The video beings with a three-year-old begging governments to “let Daddy come back”. Her dad, a ship engineeris one of those stranded in Bali because of the covid-19 pandemic.
His wife, Amelia Ross, told SAPeople he left South Africa on 17 January, but when he tried to return home in March, his flights were cancelled twice.
Like many South Africans stranded in Indonesia he joined a WhatsApp group which created today’s video.
One South African woman in the video has chronic leukaemia, another is pregnant, an elderly gentleman is longing to get home and help his 74-year-old wife who is home alone right now, one younger woman begs “please help us come home”. Another has diabetes.
WATCH VIDEO: Desperate South Africans Stranded in Indonesia Plead for Help Getting Home
Trapped in Bali, Paradise Lost…
Many of these are tax-paying South Africans, and watching others being repatriated with a great sense of national pride has left them feeling forgotten.
And it doesn’t help that some con artists are preying on their desperation and spreading rumours of flights home that are merely scams.
Julia Herr Kenkel, who is stuck in Bali, said today that she and a friend were already in Bali on a spiritual retreat when various lockdown declarations were announced. Their flights home via Singapore were cancelled twice, and airlines in Indonesia are now grounded.
The two friends, far from their young families, had only budgeted for 12 days, but 30 days later they are feeling the emotional and financial strain. A sense of “great disappointment” has enveloped them as each time they “grab onto a glimmer of hope, it fades”.
She says whilst “Bali is a very beautiful, gentle place” it’s not the paradise everyone imagines right now – all beaches are closed and most of Bali is boarded up and shut since it depends 100% on tourists. Most importantly it’s just not home.
“We feel very alone,” she says.
Julia acknowledges they’re privileged to be safe and together “but it’s a very long time of waiting and not knowing”. She hopes to be back on home soil soon, contributing again to her community…
There is some hope for South Africans in Indonesia…
DIRCO (SA’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation) says that there MAY be a flight from Indonesia on Friday.
Dirco’s Elphus Ravhudzulo told SAPeople on Wednesday afternoon that there are plans in motion for a POSSIBLE flight from Jakarta on Friday. However this has not yet been confirmed. At this stage there are only 137 people who have registered needing help. More people are needed for the plane to be sent. It’s possible that an Ethiopian Airlines plane may be used, although this has also not been confirmed yet. He said it is vital that South Africans in Indonesia contact the embassy who are dealing with this directly. See details below…
South Africans in Jakarta who would like to get home, please contact:
For Julia and others, the problem now is to get from Bali to Jakarta. There are no flights…