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August 2021 VODW Update

Welcome to our newsletter - as always, we'd appreciate it if you could share this with your network!

VODW Summer Splash!

Campaign

Pledge your support to restore the rights of Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs). Before 2012, MDWS could change employers without restrictions, renew their ODW Visas every year and after 5 years of active employment, apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Settlement Visa. After one year we are granted ILR, we could apply for British Citizenship. Above all we had an escape route so that when we were abused, these rights were there when we needed it most and we were recognised as workers and not as victims of trafficking.

The Government continues to refuse to restore our rights despite the strong campaign built by The Voice of Domestic Workers, Kalayaan, Unite the Union, Anti-Slavery International, Trades, Union Congress (TUC), Freedom United, FLEX, STOP THE TRAFFIK and many other support campaign organisations, European and International Trade Unions and a campaign supported by Jess Philips, MP.

Read Jess Philips’ Parliamentary written Question and Government response on April 2021 HERE, It was the same refusal on the petition signed by 12,724 supporters, check out more on this issue HERE

Please continue to pledge your support for our campaign, the pandemic has exposed the specific vulnerability of MDWs as the worst affected group of workers but also it highlighted the importance of domestic work as carers to children, the elderly, the disable and as in-charge of household chores. We are looking after families that are the building blocks of our nation. Without us, how could everybody go to work?

To write to your MPs to restore rights on the ODW Visa, please find our letter template HERE

To support the campaign for the ratification of the ILO C189, decent work for Domestic Workers, click HERE.

Afghan Women and Children Seeking Refuge

The UK Government must take responsibility and provide necessary resources and support needed to ensure those affected by current events in Apghanistan are properly protected. Let’s organise and build power to secure the immediate resettlement of 20,000 Afghani refugees.

This resettlement is not a replacement for International Protection - Refugee Convention

Read Migrants Organise Blog and statement on Afghanistan.

Support and Sign the Fair Immigration Reform Movement Charter  to demand Dignity, justice,Welcome and Action, click HERE

Scrap Nationality and Border Bill or better known as Refugee Bill!

Book Donation

The Our Journey book is a collection of over forty voices giving a unique insight to the complex experiences of modern slavery and trafficking that many of them have survived. During the pandemic, this book had been sold as an additional hardship fund to support domestic workers who were severely impacted by Covid 19. It is also our aim to donate copies to schools and libraries throughout the UK as part of our raising awareness on the plight of migrant domestic workers behind closed doors.

To donate to our hardship fund appeal, you can DONATE or BUY Our Journey book The photo above was when Mimi and Marissa donated a copy to The British Library. We have donated to many libraries and schools.

Kalayaan is Recruiting!

Join the amazing team of Kalayaan - Case Worker in 1 Year fixed term, check out the opportunity HERE.

Unite The Union

Britain’s biggest trade union Unite the Union recently held an election where former General Secretary Len Mackluskey has stepped-down. Members have elected a new General Secretary - Sharon Graham and will be speaking at the NSSN TUC Rally on 12th September virtually. See details HERE.

Our Post Lockdown Summer Splash!

We remained vigilant that even though the Government has already declared lock-out, we are still conscious of wearing masks whenever necessary like being indoors and public transport. We are also aware that many are still suffering. However, we also need to unwind to heal our mental health that many of our members suffered during the long year lockdown and slowly move towards the new normal. Every Summer Holiday, VODW always do some Fundraising and Socialising, and this is because many of our members have no social life and losing the weekend and physical meetings has a big impact. The virtual meeting and classes are no replacement for being together every Sunday. We organised our trips using public transport only for the first time in years.

Lido Beach

Our first trip was to Ruislip Lido Beach. This is one of the beaches near London. It’s a great base for exploring, walks along the sandy beach and it's a great tourist attraction. Aside from the amazing place, we made every effort to make this trip fun and memorable. We sang, danced, played games, ate together and explored.

Watch Our Trip Video Here!

Stone Bay Beach

Everyone wanted a breath of fresh air and the sound of the sea. We decided that our next trip was to Stone Bay Beach which is reachable by public train. It is a great beach in town. It has white fine sand surrounded by the chalk cliffs. The views are very relaxing, especially the sunset.  Tide comes quite early and takes over most of the beach. Kids also enjoyed it because of the nice weather.
The place was crowded, people were desperate to get out of the crowded city of London. We were able to play volleyball, marathon and other fun games. We did a flash mob since we could see that we will have many people on the beach.
Stone Bay Beach Video - Watch Here!
Fun Sports!
Our Flash Mob

Chessington World of Adventures Resort

Our last trip (but not the least!) was to the Chessington World of Adventure Resort. We thought this last trip should be everything wrapped in one. There were rides, sea life, water pool, wildlife and many others. It was fun but the queue was unbearable. If in previous trips we were always together, this time we have different likes and dislikes so we re-grouped according to what we want to enjoy.

Watch our Chessington World of Adventures Video Here!

Financial Coaching

Since we are collaborating with TAYO Financial in other Overseas Domestic Workers online through Facebook and Zoom we still have live sessions. Because of this even though we are on vacation we still learn, think our inner best, to be financially independent and share our story as a domestic worker and meet new friends. Everyone can join freely to these live discussions.

WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD FOR OUR PHYSICAL CLASSES IN SEPTEMBER 2021!

See you soon! Watch our video here! 
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