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September 2020 VODW Update

Welcome to all our new subscribers! Please make sure you share and help get the word out.

A creative post from our social media campaign to sign our campaign petition. Have you signed our petition yet? Sign it now here.

"Why there is an urgent need to re-instate Overseas Domestic Worker Visa?"

You might be asking yourself the above question. This month in Red Pepper, VODW member Lyn Caballero writes why we need to re-instate the Overseas Domestic Worker Visa. Read an excerpt below and click the link here for the whole story.

I recently received a negative conclusive decision in my NRM case. I am scared if I overstay I will be arrested and deported back home unprepared financially and unstable emotionally and mentally. Fellow domestic workers in my situation have become undocumented. We have tried to be lawful but it seems there is fire wherever we step.

Where are these ‘three Ps’ (prevention, protection and prosecution) of the Modern Slavery Act? Why am I at risk of prosecution, not the employer who abused me?

 Continue reading here.

Campaign Update

We still need 10,000 signatures so that the government will respond to our petition to re-instate the pre-2012 Overseas Domestic Worker visa with a route to settlement.

If we are not satisfied with the Government response then we will take this forward to get 100,000 signatures so we can demand a debate with the Government.

Help us support the rights of migrant domestic workers. We are workers!

Sign the Petition Here

"Rights Not Rescue: Lessons from migrant
domestic workers in the UK and their
struggle for systems change"

Kate Roberts from Anti-Slavery International wrote a response to the ATR debate proposition ‘It is worth undermining the anti-trafficking cause in order to more directly challenge the systems producing everyday abuses within the global economy.’ 

Read it here.

International News on Domestic Workers

The domestic workers in the Netherlands need our support and solidarity!

Please sign their petition which demands ratification of C 189 and equal rights as to other workers. They are calling to work on a "structural solution to give domestic workers full rights and protection".

Sign petition here!
(Please note this is in Dutch)

EFFAT – EFFE – EFSI – UNI-Europa Joint Statement on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Personal and Household Services (PHS)

EFFAT, EFFE, EFSI and UNI-Europa highlight the dedication of PHS workers to their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read their statement here.

Ghana: Domestic Workers’ regulations passed ensuring full labour protection for domestic workers

From the International Domestic Workers Federation

"Our affiliate the Domestic Service Workers Union, which is part of the group Access to Justice Labour a network including domestic workers and with the support of Action Aid had delivered a training to the parliamentary committee earlier in June to raise awareness on the draft regulation of domestic workers."

Read more here.

We are Back to our Virtual Classes!

After a three week vacation from our ESOL, Body, Mind and Wellness, and Financial Coaching classes (our I.T. and MediaCom classes continued), we returned to normal classes on 12 September.

ESOL Class with Volunteer Robin Sivapalan

We worked on writing poems which we will share later on. We also read to the speech of Zarah Sultana, MP for Coventry South. We also had a guest facilitator from English For Action (EFA). We are now working in collaboration with EFA. We share a common goal on action for social justice.

IT Computer Class with Volunteer Facilitator Elija Villanueva

While all other classes were on holiday break, IT computer Class was busy with our Creative Project on the first book of VODW published recently. After three weeks of preparation, we presented our project with the chosen topic of every chapter in the book "Our Journey".

Working behind closed doors, migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in the UK find our rights systematically abused, while many face some of the most unbearable treatment in the exercise of our profession.

This book is the result of our writings and conversations where we decide to narrate our journey. It is the collection of over forty voices giving a unique insight to the complex experiences of modern slavery and trafficking that many of us have survived.

Watch this video featuring the theme of chapter 1 of "Our Journey": Family here
Watch this video featuring the theme of "Our Journey": Standing-up for Our Rights here

Financial Wellbeing with Volunteer Facilitator  

Personal finances can be sensitive (or stressful!) topic, but it’s an important part of overall health and wellbeing. One report has said that 8 out of 10 OFWs reach retirement age with no savings or retirement funds. They return to the Philippines stuck in a cycle of debt and poverty - even after working a lifetime abroad for their family. 

Let’s change this statistic for our VODW members!

Our weekly Saturday sessions on financial wellbeing have restarted this September after the summer break. Since April, we’ve been learning foundational concepts for our financial health. We’ve discussed principles such as ‘needs vs wants’, ‘pay yourself first’, ‘living within your means’ and saving before spending. We’ve learned practical tools for budgeting, setting goals, and shifting our mindset out of the short-term. We’ve also played games and had a live quiz bee! 

One of the highlights is that we’ve heard from members who are making small shifts in their money management decisions. Even in the midst of a global crisis, we have celebrated many small and large financial milestones. 

We are now on a four-week discussion series on preparing for retirement - join us!

Body, Mind and Wellness Workshop with Volunteer Facilitator Roman Berry

For our Sunday sessions we've practiced dance moves, we shared our problems, our weekly highlights and activities, we did breathing exercise and the most interesting one was the one we tried to figure, draw and explained what's the meaning of the music we've heard.

Covid-19 Update

Cases for Covid-19 is growing up everyday, every week. Masks will be mandatory at work for people who interact with the public and the gatherings limited to six people. The new rules were implemented until further notice. The possible second lockdown might cause again big problem for Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) like termination without notice and pay, isolation, trauma and homelessness.

The Hardship Fund Appeal that our management team has set-up has been a big help to our members who have been affected by Covid-19 is still accepting donations.
Donate to the Covid-19 Hardship Fund
Support from our Community

From Haringey Welcome: 

We made it! At midnight on 9 September, our crowdfunder had raised £5,564 for The Voice of Domestic Workers. With £5,000 from our very generous anonymous donor, that makes an amazing £10,564.

From Marissa Begonia, founder of VODW: 

I would like to express my warmest gratitude to Haringey Welcome and the music video and all the people who supported the HW crowdfunding for The Voice of Domestic Workers. This means we can continue to provide for the needs of migrant domestic workers who have been the casualty during the covid19 pandemic. Our Work (as Domestic Workers) is to love and care for families. Thank you for taking care and loving us too.

Read more here and you can still support at the link below (although post-deadline there won't be any rewards)! 

Support the Haringey Welcome Crowdfunding Initiative
Copyright © 2020 The Voice of Domestic Workers, All rights reserved.

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