GFA World founder K.P. Yohannan says when a married man in Asia or in non-Christian Muslim countries throughout Africa dies, the widow is considered at fault and cursed by the gods. Nigerian widows, for example, are locked in a room with their husband's corpse and required to shave as a symbol of shame.
"In Afghanistan, outcast widows establish their own colony on a hillside by the cemetery just outside the capital in Kabul, where they live in mud homes they built for themselves, disowned by the families," Yohannan continues.
In Kenya, the widow's property is taken, and she is forced to leave with only the clothes on her back. And with COVID-19 claiming the lives of many men in such countries, many women have been left to bear such punishments.
"It's just one of the saddest stories to hear," the GFA World founder laments. "The suicide rate increased drastically in all these countries in Africa because of this crisis."
Yohannan's ministry has 700 "Sisters of Compassion" working in communities to find widows who are begging on the streets or involved in prostitution. They share God's love with them and bring them clothing and food. They also train women in various trades so they can generate desperately-needed income. In some cases, they are building huts to provide housing.