Girls of Faith — Hong Kong’s Filipino Domestic Helpers

“I pray to The almighty along with the burdens in my heart are lifted. ” I actually is visiting which includes workers from typically the Philippines who possess gathered along with hundreds of their countrywomen in Hong Kong’s Statue Square. You can find groups enjoying each and every other’s company just about everywhere you look. Some are eating, browsing, playing cards, design one another’s tresses and trading relationship novels. Others are usually praying, reading their own Bibles and performing hymns. There will be an estimated 120, 000 female staff from the Korea living in Hong Kong. Most are used as maids for that city’s wealthy people. These ‘helpers’ ( the common expression for domestic laborers in Hong Kong) are expected to operate twenty four hrs a day, six days a week, but federal government regulations dictate they will must receive twelve consecutive hours regarding free time each and every Sunday. Since typically the women cannot afford to go to be able to movies or consume in restaurants about their day off of, they gather in Hong Kong’s teach stations and theme parks or outside open buildings.

One Saturday morning I proceeded to go down to typically the heart of Hong Kong’s business area to shell out some period talking with the Filipino women within a key plaza there. One group readily agreed to let me take their picture then when I informed them I was writing a story for a magazine we were holding happy to reply some questions.

Typically the ten women I actually spoke with almost all come from the particular same rural place in the Philippines. They will work in homes in different sections of Hong Kong but on Sundays they meet at St. 女傭公司 located in the Central region. After mass, which St . Joseph’s commemorates in Tagalong, the language with the Thailand, they gather in the porch with the near by Hong Kong law process of law building. They pass on newspapers on its cement floor to be able to sit down on, and then spend the afternoon ingesting and visiting. These people tell me they can be devout Catholics and the faith in Our god is what assists them survive the particular separation from their particular families within the Philippines and the sometimes cruel and indifferent treatment of their particular employers. “I hope to God and even the burdens on my heart are lifted” one woman tells me with passion, as she take you her hands plus eyes heavenward.

Because we visit We discover some of the girls in the group have been here for as little as 4 months and some have lived in Hong Kong for as very long as twelve many years. Most have young kids at home plus are university well-informed. They are nurses, teachers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, computer programmers and business women. Communicate several languages. Nevertheless they can make 3 times more money inside Hong Kong as compared to they can rehearsing their professions inside the Philippines. That they tell me they require money to spend for their kids education. “To offer our kids optimism the future”, one particular woman says. Each of them send a substantial percentage of their wage home to their own families.

There are numerous house of worship groups and companies in Hk which usually seek to serve the Filipina girls working in the particular city. I spoke with Sue Farley who is for the board of company directors for an outreach program operated simply by the American Baptist World Evangelism organization. They open the premises of a local Bible College in Sundays therefore the Filipino women can satisfy there and carry part in Weekend School classes and a worship service. They have a new fulltime director, some sort of woman through the Korea, who develops relationships with the girls that attend and acts as an advocate for them when necessary.

Certainly not all employers take care of their Filipino maids as they have to. “They really include incredible power above the women” says Farley. She tells me that sometimes the particular domestic helpers have already been taken advantage of by unscrupulous middlemen in the Thailand who charge all of them exorbitant prices with regard to work visas in addition to transportation to Hk. As an effect they arrive in the particular city already due a large sum of money. Whenever they land up using a company who is not kind that they hesitate to statement them to the particular authorities. They require to keep their job to pay back their travel loan and even send money house to their families who are dependent on them. “It is not that difficult for organisations to break their particular contracts with Philippine women”, Farley explains to me. “And they can not stay here inside Hong Kong unless they will have full-time work. ” It is easy to discover why often women tolerate the misuse of their organisations as opposed to take lawful action against these people.

Farley tells myself that some women are sexually bothered. One maid confided she slips a chair beneath the button of the doorway in her place before going to bed, to retain her boss out. Others aren’t as lucky because they possess to sleep on a mat on typically the kitchen floor. A single of the Filipino women I spoke to said the girl sleeps on typically the floor involving the mattresses of the young children in the family where she will be employed. That equal maid told me your woman is often famished. “I can only eat what is usually left over following my employers have had dinner. “

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