Caregivers deserve better

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  • caregiverProfessionals like engineers and architects, and tradesmen like welders packed their luggage, and some had to sell some of their properties to shoulder the required recruitment fees. Some were fortunate to fulfill their dream of landing a good-paying job. But others were not as lucky. Some job-seekers got vic­timized by fake recruiters.

    As the years went by, Filipinos found that they were no longer needed by their foreign employ­ers as local workers were able to replace them. Employers in those countries realized that they don’t need any more foreign workers so they shut the door to hiring oppor­tunities.With this development, people in the Philippines were left with no option but to look for other means of survival. During these times, in the 1980’s, Canada opened its doors for live-in caregivers. Domestic workers from Asian countries were lured to try their luck to work as caregivers.

    At first, there were signs of sat­isfaction among the women who were granted working visas. They were able to support the education of their chil­ dren, and they had the means to send some money to their fami­lies. But it wasn’t all ros­es for these caregivers. There had been cases of abuse at the hands of their employ­ers. Some faced the consequences of depor­tation once they got into trouble with their employers. Take the case of two caregivers, Magdalene Gordo and Richelyn Tongson. They were directly hired by Ruby Dhalla, a member of Par­liament, to look after the latter’s. mother.

    Unfortunately the two poor do­mestic workers were forced to work for 12-16 hours and do some non-nanny jobs like cleaning the chiro­practic clinic of the Dhalla family in Ontario. They shouldn’t be treated like that. Gordo and Tongson came here in Canada to support their family, and they worked hard to provide care for their employers. Another caregiver in the person of Hessana Santiago is also appeal­ing to federal government for com­passionate reason for allowing her to stay in Canada. She’s currently in the process of sponsoring her family to come here in Canada. But because of the illness of her 12-year old daughter, her dream of providing a better future for her family is almost in jeopardy. It was no one’s fault that her daughter contracted kidney disease. Hopefully the federal governement should look into these concerns.

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