February 2020 Update From VODW
After the holiday season we returned to the Unite headquarters in January 2020 for our classes. Since it was the first General Meeting of the year, Marissa Begonia, our coordinator of The Voice of Domestic Workers (VODW) organised a prize for the first 20 members to arrive at the meeting. The prize was a nice souvenir gift of a picture holder featuring a group photo our members. In our meeting we discussed what our goals were for the year and we also remembered and shared all the happy moments that we had last season.
It was the 2ndSunday of the month so we had Doctors of the World that regularly provide medical care and access to NHS and help us register to health centre. Some of our members can’t access GP because most domestic workers do not have their passport (employers have taken their passports) and proof of address because they are live-in workers. VODW also provideFinancial Coaching by Tanya to help us manage our personal finance. Learning how to manage, invest and save money and put it in the right place helps us improve our financial independence.
Education is our important way to empower migrant domestic workers (mdws) so mdws build confidence and able to be the voice of their own rights. One of the services offered by VODW is theESOL, we have two tutors Robin Sivapallan and Rahul.In an increasingly diverse, global economy, having a language in common greatly facilitates cross-cultural communication between people from different nations and regions: “We are the translator to each other when words are hard to find”.
VODW also provides IT Computer class to equip our members with skills to adapt to modern technology. Our tutor Elijah Villanueva trains active officers to help them do their duties in managing the day to day activities of our organisation.
Body, Mind and Wellnessis one of our major activities. Through this session our members were able to release their stress, show their talent, bring back their confidence and power.Ithelps us manage our emotions in healthy way and develop a keen sense of self-awareness and positive social behaviour.
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“My Home is Not My Home” has been exhibited widely,see link here for more information.
Unite will be holding the exhibit fromMarch 2 – March 15and a panel onMarch 2ndat 12 PMin celebration of International Women’s Day and a pre-launch of our campaign on Overseas Domestic Worker Visa to re-instate the right to change employer and right to citizenship and major launch on April 2020 hosted by Jess Philips in House of Commons.
We are here to fight our rights until justice and rights are given back to migrant domestic workers. Domestic Work is Work, Domestic Workers are workers. We deserved equal rights as other workers have.