Ladies of Faith – Hong Kong’s Philippine Domestic Helpers

“I pray to Lord and the burdens on my heart will be lifted. ” I am visiting with some workers from the Philippines who include gathered along with thousands of their countrywomen in Hong Kong’s Statue Square. You will find groups enjoying each and every other’s company just about everywhere you look. A few are eating, visiting, playing cards, styling one another’s curly hair and trading romantic endeavors novels. Others will be praying, reading their particular Bibles and performing hymns. There are an estimated 120, 000 female workers from the Korea moving into Hong Kong. Most are applied as maids for that city’s wealthy family members. These ‘helpers’ ( the common expression for domestic laborers in Hong Kong) are expected to function twenty four hours every day, six days every week, but federal government regulations dictate these people must be provided with 12 consecutive hours of free time each Sunday. Since the particular women cannot find the money for to go in order to movies or consume in restaurants in their day off of, they gather inside Hong Kong’s coach stations and theme parks or outside open buildings.

One On the morning I went down to the particular heart of Hong Kong’s business district to spend some period talking together with the Philippine women within a central plaza there. 1 group readily agreed to let me personally take their picture then when I told them I seemed to be writing a tale regarding a magazine they were happy to reply some questions.

The particular ten women We spoke with all come from the particular same rural region within the Philippines. They work in homes inside different sections of Hong Kong but upon Sundays they meet at St. Joseph’s Cathedral located throughout the Central area. After 請外傭 , which St . Joseph’s celebrates in Tagalong, the language of the Philippines, they gather about the porch in the near by Hong Kong law courts building. They spread newspapers on the cement floor to be able to sit down about, and then spend the afternoon ingesting and visiting. These people tell me they are devout Catholics and their faith in Lord is what helps them survive the separation from their particular families inside the Israel and the in some cases cruel and unsociable treatment of their particular employers. “I pray to God in addition to the burdens in my heart usually are lifted” one woman tells me strong, as she elevates her hands in addition to eyes heavenward.

Since we visit I actually discover a few of the women in the group have been below for as low as four months although some have lived in Hk for as extended as twelve many years. Most have young children at home and even are university educated. They are healthcare professionals, teachers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, computer programmers and even business women. They speak several languages. However they can make three times more money inside Hong Kong than they can training their professions throughout the Philippines. They will tell me they want money to spend for their kids education. “To offer our kids optimism the future”, a single woman says. They all send a substantial portion of their earnings home to their very own families.

There are numerous cathedral groups and agencies in Hong Kong which in turn seek to serve the Filipina women working in typically the city. I chatted with Sue Farley who is within the board of administrators for an outreach program operated simply by the American Baptist World Evangelism business. They open typically the premises of your local Bible College in Sundays so the Philippine women can satisfy there and have part in On the School classes in addition to a worship service. They have some sort of fulltime director, the woman through the Thailand, who develops associations with the women who attend and will act as an advocate to them when necessary.

Not all employers handle their Filipino maids as they ought to. “They really have incredible power over the women” claims Farley. She informs me that sometimes the domestic helpers have been taken advantage associated with by unscrupulous middlemen in the Korea who charge all of them exorbitant prices with regard to work visas in addition to transportation to Hk. As an effect they get to the particular city already due a large quantity of money. Whenever they land up together with an employer who will be not kind that they hesitate to record them to the particular authorities. They want to keep their very own job to pay back their very own travel loan and even send money home to their family members who are relying on them. “It is not of which difficult for companies to break their contracts with Filipino women”, Farley informs me. “And they can stay here inside Hong Kong unless that they have regular work. ” It is possible to discover why often girls tolerate the mistreatment of their organisations as opposed to take lawful action against these people.

Farley tells us that some girls are sexually stressed. One maid confided she slips a chair under the knob of the door in her place before going to bed, to retain her boss away. Others aren’t while lucky since they have got to sleep over a mat on the particular kitchen floor. One particular of the Filipino women I spoken to said your woman sleeps on the particular floor between bed frames of the kids in the home where she will be employed. That same exact maid told me she is often eager. “I can simply eat what is definitely left over right after my employers experienced dinner. “

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