Arlene Dela Rosa
“I am a new version of myself that strives to stay committed and to continue learning. I hope to be on the frontline of the campaigns of the Voice of Domestic Workers and be a confident spokesperson.”
My name is Arlhyne, I am 46 years old and was born in the Philippines. I am the eldest child in my family. I studied a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at Southwoods Cavite.
Due to a lack of financial support from my father, I left the Philippines and decided to apply as an Overseas Foreign Worker in Taiwan as a Production Operator. I worked in one of the biggest semiconductor companies, not only in Taiwan, but even in other countries. I worked so hard doing overtime and gave my best in my work. Then, they promoted me as a Line Leader to set up programmes for technical skills as well as translating Mandarin to English.
As the breadwinner of the family, my life was not easy abroad like other migrant workers. There was a time I wanted to give up, but I always remembered my family and that they needed me to have a good life and I wanted them to enjoy life. I had dreams to fulfil and goals to achieve for me and for my family.
Then I got married and was blessed with a daughter. This time I had bigger goals because of my daughter. I want good fortune for my only daughter. I decided to work in Saudi Arabia as a Nanny and this job gave me a chance to travel with the family in and out of Europe and Asia. I was overworked with a lack of empathy from my employer where my rest was just to shower and to eat. Sometimes I did not even have time to eat because we needed to go somewhere, and I had to sleep in the room with the baby at night.
Then after four years they gave me a holiday to the Philippines. But when I came back to Saudi they gave me to another family and I learned that they sold me for a huge amount of money and wanted me to work without paying me a salary. I decided to leave them when they brought me to the UK. In my mind it was better to save myself here in the UK from this abusive employer than in Saudi because the law and the system there is not fair. I freed myself from the hands of the abusive employers.
Now I’m a proud and active member of The Voice of Domestic Workers. I’m attending all of the online classes as much as possible as they are providing for us and ESOL class every Sunday. It is a great opportunity for all of the members because we learn additional knowledge and this allows me to bring back my self-confidence and face my fears to improve myself.
I am happy and feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to participate and be one of the Future Voices 2023, fighting for their rights and I am looking forward to learning more during our stay in the programme.