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Readers' generosity helps stranded family fly home

Dubai: A Filipina mother and her four children who had been living on charity flew home to the Philippines on Wednesday after Gulf News readers helped her buy the air tickets.

The Filipina's Lebanese husband was deported to his home country after serving a jail sentence for defaulting on a loan repayment.

The story about her plight touched the hearts of Gulf News readers who ensured the mother and her children were able to return home.

Mary and her children had been surviving mainly on charity for the past year. She and a relative, who was staying with them, were barely making enough money to survive working as part-time housemaids.

Heartfelt gratitude

"I'm very grateful to all and everyone who gave me a hand of help. We have bought food and new clothes for the children," Mary said before boarding an Emirates flight.

Mary said readers had also sent money to her husband so that he would be able to foot the air fare to join them in the Philippines. "My children did not see their father for more than one year because he was in jail. He was then deported. But now they will be able to see him and enjoy being with him," she said.

"We lived here for several years, but my husband fell ill and took a loan for medical treatment and for expenses," she said recalling how the family's ordeal started about three years ago. "When he failed to pay back the loan he was sent to jail and he also lost his job.

Mary said she had earlier been turned down by many charity organisations. "Doors were closed in my face and I never thought that there are still any people who will care for us."

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