I want to raise awareness about the plight of migrant domestic workers in the UK and to improve their social protection. I want the government to recognise domestic work as essential work.
My name is Nerisa Valerio, I am a mother of five, and I have been a domestic worker for twenty-five years. Being a mother away from home, away from my loved ones, is very difficult. This is a sacrifice I had to make– working abroad where the culture and government system are very different from that of my country, the Philippines. But I bear this sacrifice because I have a dream. I have a goal to fulfill for my family, especially my children.
I want to give them a better education, a better life, to experience things that I have never experienced. I came to the UK from Jordan in 2006 with my employer during their holidays. While in the UK, I was still paid my Jordan salary. My visa was for one year and I eventually decided to leave this employer because I wanted to find better opportunities. At that time I had rights so I was able to rebuild my life and provided a decent living for my children. In 2017, I joined The Voice of Domestic Workers not because I needed help but because I wanted to contribute to the advocacy and campaign of the organisation. I became a Trustee and leader of the Welfare Working group.
I have been speaking on the rights of migrant domestic workers since I have the advantage of being able to travel because of my British status. I feel I could still do more and that is why I joined 'Future Voices' to upskill myself.
Migrant Women’s leadership matters to tackle the under-representation of women in powerful positions. Let’s uplift and motivate each other, to put up the best fight for our place and to accomplish all our dreams.