Quarantined mom, son thank volunteers, SZ Daily for help

Now Shenzhen   |   March 7, 2022

A FRIEND in need is a friend indeed. The saying proved true Friday night when Oleksandra Shestakova and her 10-year-old son Stephan received food and cartons of drinking water around the time their supplies were running out. The items were delivered by volunteers and a Shenzhen Daily staffer.

The Ukrainian mother and son live with their four cats in Xinzhou North Village, Futian District, and they have been quarantined at their home since their building was locked down March 3 amid Shenzhen’s recent COVID-19 flare-ups. Residents in lockdown areas must stay at home and door-to-door delivery services are provided.

Stephan sent a video Saturday afternoon to express their gratitude for those who helped them. “Thank the volunteers and Shenzhen Daily. They brought us water, milk, bread and apples. I also want to say thank you to others for their help,” he said in Chinese in the video.

“This [the bottled water] is more than I have ever expected.We thank Shenzhen Daily for the help. My son and I will never be thirsty again!” Shestakova said. “I also want to thank the volunteers in my community who got the water delivered to our door. They already have a lot of work to do helping so many people.”

Shestakova told Shenzhen Daily that she doesn’t speak Chinese, so she had difficulties reporting her needs and difficulties to the community. She turned to a fellow expat friend for help Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, her friend was also restricted at home due to the pandemic, but managed to get in touch with Malaysian volunteer Wong Woon-li who speaks fluent Chinese. Wong is a member of Shekou International Volunteers Team, and she has been serving at nucleic acid testing sites in Shekou for the past few days.

Wong said she called Shestakova’s community at 3 p.m. Friday, but the line was busy for a very long time. After several attempts, Wong’s call finally got through. She explained Shestakova’s situation to the community.

At 9:10 p.m., Shestakova received bread, apples and milk, but said that drinking water was a problem because of their different living habits. They usually drink bottled water and are not used to drinking boiled water. “I will survive, but I am just worrying about my kid,” Shestakova said.

After learning about Shestakova’s water shortage problem, a staffer from Shenzhen Daily who lives nearby decided to send them bottled water. At 11 p.m., four cartons of bottled water were sent to the entrance of Xinzhou North Village. The Shenzhen Daily staffer said when he arrived at the entrance, he found that the community workers were busy and since it is a lockdown area, he could only drop off the water on the shelves at the entrance for community workers to arrange delivery to their door.

Before 10 a.m. Saturday,  Shestakova told Shenzhen Daily that she had received the water. “I have a wall of water. I am very thankful for your help,” she said.

A Shenzhen Daily reporter tried to contact the Xinzhou Community staff, but they were too busy for interviews. However, Chen Guiqiu, an apartment complex property manager in Futian, told Shenzhen Daily that she also reached out to report the Ukrainian mom’s situation to the Xinzhou Community Friday night. According to Chen, the community was very responsible, understanding and considerate. “A social worker from the community replied on my WeChat at 3 a.m. Saturday saying that volunteers would deliver the water in the morning. He also told me that the community responds to every household’s basic needs. They will pay extra attention to the expatriate residents who don’t speak our language,” Chen told Shenzhen Daily.

Article from:  SHENZHEN DAILY