“I pray to Lord and the burdens on my center are lifted.” I’m visiting with some personnel from the Philippines who’ve collected alongside 1000s of their countrywomen in Hong Kong’s Statue Square. You can find organizations enjoying each other’s business every where you look. Some are ingesting, visiting, playing cards, design one another’s hair and trading romance novels. The others are hoping, reading their Bibles and performing hymns. You can find an projected 120,000 woman personnel from the Philippines surviving in Hong Kong. The majority are used as maids for the city’s rich families. These ‘helpers’ ( the most popular term for domestic laborers in Hong Kong) are expected to work twenty four hours a day, six days a week, but government rules dictate they should get a dozen consecutive hours of free time each Sunday. Since the women can not afford to go to shows or eat in eateries on their time off, they get in Hong Kong’s prepare stations and areas or external public buildings.
One Sunday morning I transpired to one’s heart of Hong Kong’s company area to take some time speaking with the Filipino feamales in a main plaza there. One group easily consented to allow me to take their picture and when I informed them I was publishing a story for a magazine they were pleased to answer some questions.
The five girls I talked with all come from the same rural region in the Philippines. They work in houses in numerous sections of Hong Kong but on Sundays they meet at St. Joseph’s Cathedral situated in the Key district. Following mass, which St. Joseph’s honors in Tagalong, the language of the Philippines, they get on the porch of the near by Hong Kong law courts building. They spread papers on its cement ground to take a seat on, and then invest the morning ingesting and visiting. They inform me they’re devout Catholics and their faith in Lord is what assists them survive the separation from their own families in the Philippines and the often cruel and indifferent treatment of their employers. “I pray to Lord and the burdens on my center are lifted” one woman informs me passionately, as she lifts her fingers and eyes heavenward.
Once we visit I discover a few of the feamales in the group have already been here for as little as four months while the others have lived in Hong Kong for as long as a dozen years. Many have young children in the home and are school educated. They are nurses, educators, physiotherapists, pharmacists, pc programmers and company women. They talk many languages. Nevertheless they could make three times more profit Hong Kong than they could training their occupations in the Philippines. They inform me they need money to pay for their children’s education. “To give our youngsters hope for the future”, one woman says. They all deliver a substantial part of their pay home for their families.
There are numerous different church organizations and organizations in Hong Kong which find to function the Filipina girls working in the city. I talked with Sue Farley who’s on the board of administrators for an outreach plan run by the American Baptist Earth Evangelism organization. They open the premises of a local Bible University on Sundays so the Filipino girls can meet there and take portion in Sunday College lessons and a worship service. They’ve a fulltime director, a woman from the Philippines, who evolves relationships with the women who attend and functions as an advocate for them when necessary.
Not absolutely all employers treat their Filipino maids because they should. “They really have amazing energy on the women” says Farley. She informs me that often the 海外僱傭公司 have previously been rooked by unscrupulous middlemen in the Philippines who cost them extortionate costs for work visas and transport to Hong Kong. As a result they get to the town currently owing a large amount of money. When they land up by having an company who’s maybe not sort they hesitate to record them to the authorities. They should hold their job to pay for back their travel loan and deliver money home for their people who are depending on them. “It’s not too problematic for employers to break their contracts with Filipino women”, Farley informs me. “And they can not stay within Hong Kong unless they’ve full-time employment.” It’s easy to see why usually girls tolerate the punishment of their employers as opposed to take legal activity against them.
Farley informs me that some girls are sexually harassed. One maid confided she falls a couch beneath the knob of the door in her room before going to sleep, to help keep her employer out. The others aren’t as lucky because they’ve to rest on a cushion on your kitchen floor. One of many Filipino girls I talked to said she rests on the ground involving the bedrooms of the children in your family wherever she is employed. That same maid explained she is frequently hungry. “I can only just eat what’s left over after my employers experienced dinner.”
Ms. Farley says her organization may help the Filipino girls resort problems against employers who break the government rules which affect migrant workers. “We go to judge with them or make them file petitions with the Job Board.”
Ms. Farley is particularly fascinated with the Filipino girls from their mission who select to pay their important Sundays off reaching out for their other countrywomen. “They visit the areas and squares”, says Ms. Farley, “and ask the others to the church services. They provide to pray with those that seem unhappy and extend friendship and a hearing hearing to those who have considerations and problems.”
Yet another organization that gives help the Filipino girls is Bethune House, named after Canadian Norman Bethune. He was a medical medical practitioner from Europe who maintained equally Chinese troops and civilians throughout the war contrary to the Western in the late 1930’s. Bethune died in China in 1939. Staffed by volunteers from many different Christian denominations Bethune House presents protection and legal and pastoral council to migrant girls who’ve been abused by their employers. It’s yet another way the Christian community in Hong Kong attempts to reach out for their sisters from the Philippines who are ‘visitors in a strange land’ ;.