Women of Faith : Hong Kong’s Philippine Domestic Helpers
“I pray to The almighty as well as the burdens in my heart are usually lifted. ” My partner and i is visiting which includes workers from the Philippines who possess gathered along with thousands of their countrywomen in Hong Kong’s Statue Square. You will discover groups enjoying each and every other’s company just about everywhere you look. A few are eating, going to, playing cards, style one another’s locks and trading relationship novels. Others will be praying, reading their particular Bibles and performing hymns. There are usually an estimated a hundred and twenty, 000 female personnel from the Thailand moving into Hong Kong. Most are utilized as maids for that city’s wealthy households. These ‘helpers’ ( the common phrase for domestic employees in Hong Kong) are expected to job twenty four hours per day, six days every week, but govt regulations dictate that they must be provided with 12 consecutive hours involving free time each Sunday. Since the women cannot manage to go to movies or take in in restaurants upon their day off, they gather inside Hong Kong’s teach stations and leisure areas or outside open buildings.
One Saturday morning I travelled down to the particular heart of Hong Kong’s business district to pay some time talking with the Filipino women in the main plaza there. A single group readily agreed to let me take their picture so when I informed them I has been writing a story intended for a magazine they were happy to answer some questions.
The particular ten women My partner and i spoke with almost all come from the same rural place in the Philippines. That they operate homes in different parts of Hong Kong but upon Sundays they meet up with at St. Joseph’s Cathedral located in the Central section. After mass, which often St . Joseph’s commemorates in Tagalong, typically the language in the Philippines, they gather upon the porch from the near by Hong Kong law courts building. They pass on newspapers on its cement floor to sit down upon, and then spend the afternoon ingesting and visiting. They will tell me they may be devout Catholics and the faith in God is what allows them survive the particular separation from their own families inside the Korea and the on occasion cruel and indifferent treatment of their employers. “I hope to God and the burdens in my heart will be lifted” one lady tells me passionately, as she lifting her hands plus eyes heavenward.
As we visit My partner and i discover some of the ladies in the party have been right here for less than four months and some have got lived in Hk for as lengthy as twelve decades. Most have young children at home in addition to are university well-informed. They are healthcare professionals, teachers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, computer programmers and business women. They speak several languages. Nonetheless they can make 3 times more money in Hong Kong compared to they can rehearsing their professions throughout the Philippines. That they tell me they want money to shell out for their little one’s education. “To give our kids optimism the future”, 1 woman says. They each send a considerable area of their wage home to their particular families.
There are various church groups and organizations in Hong Kong which usually seek to serve the Filipina ladies working in the particular city. I spoken with Sue Farley who is around the board of company directors for an outreach program operated by simply the American Baptist World Evangelism firm. They open the premises of the local Bible College in Sundays so the Philippine women can meet up with there and have part in On the School classes and a worship service. They have a fulltime director, a woman through the Thailand, who develops interactions with the girls that attend and will act as an advocate to them when necessary.
Certainly not all employers deal with their Filipino service personnel as they need to. “They really possess incredible power over the women” claims Farley. She informs me that sometimes typically the domestic helpers have already been taken advantage associated with by unscrupulous middlemen in the Thailand who charge them exorbitant prices regarding work visas and transportation to Hk. As an outcome they get to the particular city already outstanding a large sum of money. When they land up using a company who is definitely not kind they will hesitate to report them to typically the authorities. 菲傭介紹所 want to keep their job to pay back their particular travel loan plus send money residence to their households who are relying on them. “It is not that difficult for employers to break their own contracts with Philippine women”, Farley shows me. “And they can not stay here in Hk unless they will have full time career. ” It is possible to notice why often girls tolerate the misuse of their business employers as opposed to take lawful action against them.
Farley tells me personally that some females are sexually bothered. One maid confided she slips a new chair under the button of the entrance in her space before going to be able to bed, to retain her boss out. Others aren’t while lucky simply because they have got to sleep over a mat on the kitchen floor. 1 of the Filipino women I chatted to said your woman sleeps on typically the floor involving the mattresses of the youngsters in the family where she is employed. That equivalent maid informed me the lady is often hungry. “I can only eat what is usually left over after my employers have experienced dinner. “