The Voice of Domestic Workers is an education and support group calling for justice and rights for Britain's sixteen thousand migrant domestic workers. We provide educational and community activities for domestic workers - including English language lessons, drama and art classes, and employment advice, and provide support for domestic workers who exit from abusive employers. Our work seeks to end discrimination and protect migrant domestic workers living in the UK by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare and legal advice.
Speaking out about our work, sharing our stories and our experiences is vital if we are to address the injustice many of our network are facing, raising awareness of our work to improve the living and working conditions of migrant domestic workers in the UK and to increase respect for the work that we do with an end goal of tacking the policies that affect our rights.
Migrant Domestic Workers are one of the most vulnerable groups of workers. Removing our rights in 2012 has left us unprotected, powerless and in severe exploitative work condition. When our employers stopped us from working without notice and pay during covid19 lockdown we couldn't claim our unpaid wages, we are afraid to go to the hospital when infected by this virus and some are even quarantined. We were deprived and forced to work long, unpaid hours including working for free on our days off. When parents and children were all at home during the lockdown, we worked up to 24 hours per day. We are essential workers too. Is asking the UK to value our work too much? Domestic work is work, and we should be protected as workers.
Migrant Domestic Workers are the backbone of our society, but we know that your voices and stories often go unheard. This has been magnified during the covid pandemic. We need to be part of the conversations that affect us, and have a seat around the table to influence change.
This new training programme aims to equip a new network of 12 Migrant Domestic Workers with the skills and confidence to share their experiences, have their expertise heard more widely and ultimately drive public awareness and policy change. This is a pilot programme developed in partnership with charity sounddelivery media, who run a spokesperson network with leaders with lived experience.
Who are we looking for
Our successful participants will be ready to use their voices to speak up and out for change for Migrant Domestic Workers (MDW) as part of the Voice of Domestic Workers community.
You are using your lived experience as a MDW to raise awareness of your community or starting to advocate for others but would like to build your skills and confidence to reach bigger audiences
You are supporting the communities you represent
You want to find solutions to challenges your community faces
You are wanting to speak more publicly and be more visible, particularly in the media
You haven’t had regular media platforms and are ready to take on new opportunities that come with the programme.
Be interested in campaigning and public speaking on the issues around being a migrant domestic worker
Be based in Greater London or the surrounding areas.
Have a good understanding of spoken/written English
Be over 18
Commit to attend the whole programme
Have access to a smartphone or laptop/tablet to participate in online workshops (if not please be in touch)
Already be an active member of the Voice of Domestic Workers or willing to be ore active looking to become one
This programme is free and travel expenses to any in-person workshops will be covered by Voices of Domestic Workers.
Workshops will be in London and online
There are three stages to the application process.
The first stage is a short written online application where you will be able to outline your interest in being part of this training programme and why you want to do it. There is an option to record a short video too.
After this stage 4 people will go through these applications and shortlist who they want to bring to an interview
Jude Habib, Director sounddelivery media. Jude has 25 years of experience working with people with lived experience of a wide range of social injustices and supporting them to tell their stories and share their expertise safely and with confidence. Jude will also be leading the training on this programme.
Isabel Bertschinger, Coordinator of the Voice of Domestic Workers. She is passionate about ensuring that these future voices are heard.
Amanda Hailes - Part of Hull-based women’s collective An Untold Story, peer-researcher for AVA and Agenda, campaigning for women facing marginalisation. Untold Story Hull
Ella Parry Davies - Making soundwalks with migrant domestic workers in UK & Lebanon at http://homemakersounds.org @BritishAcademy_ postdoc @CSSDLondon cripileptic
The next stage is an interview where people who have been shortlisted will be interviewed to be part of the programme.
There will be three people on the interview panel including Marissa Begonia from the Voice of Domestic Workers.
The programme consists of
Training on a Sunday where we will cover everything from building your online presence using social media, blogging, vlogging, campaigning skills, interview preparation and media training, and presentation skills.
Meeting journalists to discuss the issues in an informal en
Monthly (online) peer meet-ups and support
An end of programme learning event and graduation
Application process opened Sunday 31st October
Webinar to explain (ask questions) of the programme Sunday 31st October
Application process closed 5pm Sunday 21st November
Wednesday 24th November – 2-3.30 shortlistiing to take place via zoom.
Interviews Sunday 28th November
Meet the Network First introduction workshop Sunday 5th December
Programme Dates – Please note – we will be working closely with you on the programme dates and when it is safe to bring the network together in person we will do that.
The full programme will begin from December with monthly workshops in January, February, March, April, May and June. In July there will be an event to share the learning from the programme with external organisations.
How to apply
There is a written application form for everyone to fill in.
If you’d feel more confident sharing by video we’re also happy for you to send us a short video / vlog (max 2 minutes) about why you should be part of the network alongside the application. You can Whatsapp this to us, the number is included in the application form.
Please spread the word to your networks.
If you are planning to apply and need proper understanding, we invite you to register and join the ''Future Voices'' webinar on June 7th, 11 AM. Register here
If you have any questions please do get in touch: