Girls of Faith — Hong Kong’s Philippine Domestic Helpers

“I pray to The almighty and the burdens on my heart are lifted. ” I am visiting with a workers from the particular Philippines who have gathered in addition to hundreds and hundreds of their countrywomen in Hong Kong’s Statue Square. There are groups enjoying every other’s company all over the place you look. Many are eating, visiting, playing cards, styling one another’s tresses and trading relationship novels. Others are praying, reading their own Bibles and singing hymns. There are an estimated a hundred and twenty, 000 female staff from the Thailand moving into Hong Kong. Most are used as maids for the city’s wealthy people. These ‘helpers’ ( the common name for domestic employees in Hong Kong) are required to operate twenty four several hours every day, six days and nights weekly, but authorities regulations dictate they will must be given twelve consecutive hours regarding free time each Sunday. Since typically the women cannot manage to go to movies or eat in restaurants upon their day off, they gather throughout Hong Kong’s coach stations and leisure areas or outside general public buildings.

One Sunday morning I proceeded to go down to the heart of Hong Kong’s business district to shell out some period talking using the Filipino women inside a middle plaza there. 1 group readily decided to let me personally take their picture and once I told them I seemed to be writing a tale with regard to a magazine they were happy to respond to some questions.

The ten women I spoke with just about all come from typically the same rural place inside the Philippines. That they operate homes in different sections of Hong Kong but upon Sundays they satisfy at St. Joseph’s Cathedral located throughout the Central section. After mass, which St Joseph’s celebrates in Tagalong, the particular language with the Thailand, they gather on the porch with the near by Hong Kong law process of law building. They spread newspapers on it is cement floor in order to sit down in, and then invest the afternoon ingesting and visiting. That 請菲傭流程 tell me these are devout Catholics and the faith in God is what helps them survive the particular separation from their families in the Philippines and the sometimes cruel and unsociable treatment of their very own employers. “I pray to God and the burdens upon my heart will be lifted” one girl tells me with passion, as she elevates her hands and eyes heavenward.

Since we visit I actually discover a number of the women in the group have been below for as low as 4 months and some have got lived in Hk for as very long as twelve yrs. Most have children at home and even are university knowledgeable. They are healthcare professionals, teachers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, computer programmers in addition to business women. Communicate several languages. However they can make 3 times more income inside Hong Kong compared to they can rehearsing their professions throughout the Philippines. That they tell me they want money to pay out for their kid’s education. “To give our kids hope for the future”, a single woman says. They all send a considerable portion of their wage home to their very own families.

There are numerous church groups and organizations in Hk which usually seek to provide the Filipina women working in the particular city. I talked with Sue Farley who is for the board of owners for an outreach program operated by simply the American Baptist World Evangelism corporation. They open typically the premises of a local Bible College on Sundays therefore the Filipino women can satisfy there and take part in Sunday School classes and a worship support. They have a new fulltime director, the woman through the Israel, who develops associations with the women who attend and will act as an advocate on their behalf when necessary.

Not really all employers treat their Filipino maids as they should. “They really possess incredible power above the women” claims Farley. She informs me that sometimes the domestic helpers have already been taken advantage of by unscrupulous middlemen in the Korea who charge these people exorbitant prices intended for work visas plus transportation to Hong Kong. As an effect they get to typically the city already outstanding a large sum of money. If they land up along with an employer who is usually not kind that they hesitate to report them to typically the authorities. They want to keep their particular job for compensating their own travel loan and even send money house to their households who are dependent on them. “It is not that difficult for companies to break their own contracts with Filipino women”, Farley shows me. “And they cannot stay here inside of Hong Kong unless they have full-time career. ” You can actually see why often women tolerate the abuse of their companies instead of take lawful action against all of them.

Farley tells myself that some women are sexually bothered. One maid confided she slips some sort of chair underneath the knob of the front door in her room before going to be able to bed, to maintain her boss out. Others aren’t since lucky because they include to sleep on the mat on the particular kitchen floor. A single of the Filipino women I spoke to said the girl sleeps on the particular floor between bedrooms of the youngsters in the household where she is usually employed. That same maid told me she is often famished. “I can just eat what will be left over right after my employers experienced dinner. “

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