Women of Faith : Hong Kong’s Philippine Domestic Helpers

“I pray to Our god as well as the burdens on my heart will be lifted. ” My partner and i is visiting which includes workers from the particular Philippines who possess gathered along with hundreds of their countrywomen in Hong Kong’s Statue Square. You will find groups enjoying every other’s company all over the place you look. Several are eating, browsing, playing cards, styling one another’s curly hair and trading romantic endeavors novels. Others happen to be praying, reading their very own Bibles and performing hymns. There are usually an estimated one hundred twenty, 000 female personnel from the Philippines moving into Hong Kong. Most are applied as maids for the city’s wealthy family members. These ‘helpers’ ( the common phrase for domestic laborers in Hong Kong) are required to job twenty four hours every day, six days a week, but federal government regulations dictate they must be provided 14 consecutive hours regarding free time every single Sunday. Since typically the women cannot manage to go to movies or eat in restaurants on their day off, they gather throughout Hong Kong’s coach stations and parks or outside open public buildings.

One Saturday morning I gone down to typically the heart of Hong Kong’s business area to spend some time talking using the Philippine women in the key plaza there. 菲傭介紹所 agreed to let me take their image and once I informed them I had been writing a story with regard to a magazine these people were happy to respond to some questions.

The particular ten women I spoke with all come from typically the same rural area in the Philippines. These people work in homes throughout different sections of Hong Kong but in Sundays they fulfill at St. Joseph’s Cathedral located within the Central area. After mass, which often St Joseph’s commemorates in Tagalong, typically the language in the Philippines, they gather on the porch of the near by Hong Kong law surfaces building. They spread newspapers on the cement floor to be able to sit down on, and then invest the afternoon consuming and visiting. They tell me they may be devout Catholics and their faith in Lord is what will help them survive the particular separation from their very own families inside the Korea and the many times cruel and indifferent treatment of their own employers. “I pray to God and even the burdens in my heart are lifted” one female tells me with passion, as she lifts her hands and eyes heavenward.

As we visit I discover some of the females in the class have been here for less than 4 months although some have got lived in Hk for as lengthy as twelve decades. Most have young kids at home and are university educated. They are nurses, teachers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, computer programmers plus business women. Communicate several languages. Nonetheless they can make 3 times more cash inside of Hong Kong as compared to they can rehearsing their professions within the Philippines. These people tell me they want money to pay for their kids education. “To offer our kids hope for the future”, one particular woman says. All of them send a considerable part of their income home to their own families.

There are many different house of worship groups and agencies in Hk which often seek to assist the Filipina women working in the city. I chatted with Sue Farley who is around the board of directors for an outreach program operated simply by the American Baptist World Evangelism corporation. They open the particular premises of a community Bible College about Sundays and so the Philippine women can meet up with there and have part in Sunday School classes in addition to a worship assistance. They have some sort of fulltime director, a new woman in the Thailand, who develops interactions with the women who attend and acts as an advocate to them when necessary.

Not necessarily all employers deal with their Filipino service personnel as they ought to. “They really have got incredible power above the women” claims Farley. She tells me that sometimes typically the domestic helpers have been completely taken advantage involving by unscrupulous middlemen in the Thailand who charge all of them exorbitant prices for work visas and transportation to Hk. As an end result they arrive in typically the city already due a large amount of money. Should they land up with a company who is usually not kind they hesitate to record them to typically the authorities. They want to keep their particular job to pay back their particular travel loan and even send money residence to their people who are relying on them. “It is not of which difficult for employers to break their contracts with Philippine women”, Farley notifies me. “And they can not stay here inside Hk unless these people have regular career. ” You can actually see why often females tolerate the abuse of their organisations rather than take legal action against these people.

Farley tells myself that some females are sexually stressed. One maid confided she slips a chair within the knob of the entrance in her room before going to bed, to always keep her boss away. Others aren’t as lucky because they have to sleep over a mat on typically the kitchen floor. One particular of the Filipino women I spoken to said your woman sleeps on the floor between the bedrooms of the children in the house where she is definitely employed. That same maid informed me your woman is often starving. “I can simply eat what is definitely left over after my employers have had dinner. “

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