CORONAVIRUS REDLIGHT AMSTERDAM Newsletter from Frits Rouwvoet
Coronavirus Amsterdam 20 maart 2020
An absurd sight today at the redlight. All windows are closed. After 15 years, I am walking here and all windows are empty for the first time. An incredibly strange sight!
In the past few days we received messages from people saying we should be thankful that the women can not receive customers anymore. Even though we, just like many of the women, would like to see them having a different source of income, we see through this situation the distress with a large number of women.
We are making an inventory among the women to see how they are doing without income. We already received a few questions about this and we are making an overview of what we can do for these women. The rents of their apartments and fixed costs are still continuing. Not paying these bills for next month will mean that many women will become homeless.
A disability insurance was not possible for many women. This is due to the insurance premium and the fact that insurance companies often see prostitutes as a risk group. Yesterday, our minister Wiebes informed that it was their own responsibility if entrepreneurs did not have insurance.
We, as Bright Fame, still want to be there for the women, even if it is on a small scale. We would like to set up an emergency fund, so that we can jump in with a modest contribution in the form of a voucher, when necessary.
Coronavirus (update 1)
So much has changed in our world over the past few days. I think that everyone is able to share something about this. In our office, a smaller occupation of us is present for the women who are not allowed to work in the redlight. All activities we have, have been cancelled on advice of the government.
Only our social work team is working full speed. We have a lot of internal and external meetings to share information with each other and other organisations. We also are in contact with two members of the Dutch Parliament, members of the Amsterdam Council and paying agencies to stay up to date on new settlements the government offers our women.
Distressing situations, the first woman has been evicted from her apartment because she was not able to pay the rent. Others are not able to do their groceries, for the weeks before this were already bad and money already had to be added.
On Wednesday the 18th we received many worrying phone calls, messages and five women even came to our office for the special entrepreneur settlement. When I left the office at 18:30 to go home, three women were at the doorstep. This brings the total number to eight, plus whoever will drop by later.
Food packs are picked up and two packs are delivered to an ill woman and a woman who does not even have money to visit us. We hope that the social work team at our office is able to handle the workload, because it will only get busier in the coming days.
Also, we are preparing to be able to sustain the women from our homes. Again, our question is to support us in prayer, but also practically so that we can support.
Coronavirus (update 2)
We are at the end of a very busy week. Many women have visited us with questions about an income supplement for entrepreneurs. Throughout the entire day and in the evenings, we keep receiving phone calls and messages with questions. Also in the weekends, we expect this will continue.
At two o’clock on Friday the 20th, five women stepped into our office when there were already four inside. Luckily, we just finished our conversation with another woman over the phone.
Below, you can find a link to CIP with an interview with me (Dutch):
Today, we also gave the first gift vouchers to the women to be able to get their groceries at the supermarket, so that they will at least have food over the weekend.
The vouchers have a value of €25,-.
Before the women will receive money and an income again, we will need more vouchers in the coming weeks.
Who will join us with a voucher of €25,-
Visit; https://www.brightfame.nl/doe-mee/doneer/ and donate under the heading ‘Noodfonds’Bright Fame is an ANBI-acknowledged foundation.
NL53 INGB 0004 1039 12 in the name of STICHTING BRIGHT FAME