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#WeAreMigrants Feature: Aira N. in the United Kingdom

Aira N.

United Kingdom

Nanny age group: 40 to 49 years old

1. What YEAR did you first become a migrant and what was the REASON behind your migration?

Year 2015, the first time I become a migrant when I applied as a Domestic Workers in Singapore, it was a salary deduction through the agency of the daughter of my secondary teacher in my hometown because they had a contact person at the agency in Singapore, so, without my hesitation because of the reason behind, it is very difficult at my age that time I was 30 years old to applied a job in our country (Philippines) because the company that I had been working was been shutdown because they are affected of peso-dollar devaluation, and my husband's salary was not enough for three of us, he just earned one thousand five hundred pesos only (1,500) per week because he was not a regular employee and we are renting a small room in Guadalupe, Makati City (Philippines). We need to pay a water and electricity bills, our daily needs and school fees of my son.

I'm thinking what will happened to us if always like this, we can't paid the rent on time, bills and our food everyday. What will happened to the future of my son if I didn't do something? I want my son to finished his studies and to had a good future & I want to have an own house.

2. What was the BIGGEST CHALLENGE that you've had to OVERCOME as a migrant?

The biggest challenge that I had overcome as a Migrant [was] when I was in Saudi Arabia working as a Domestic Workers for 3 years. [I didn't receive] a salary for 7 month, [did not have] enough food to eat. I was sleeping in the kitchen using the back of the sofa. I'm not allowed to [have] a shower, I'm working 16 hours a day, I don't had communication to my family back to Philippines for fours months since I leave in my country. I almost become crazy because of my situation in my employer and I [was] suicidal because I'm thinking, if I died I can go back to my family.

That time I'm so hopeless but when my employer took me to the hospital, I spoke to the Filipino nurses and doctors about my situation, when I was at the house of my employer. [They] told me that when my employer, the baby that [I'm taking care of] and I will go to UK, [I can] seek for help because England is a free country and [there are] a lot of charities to help abused domestic workers from their employers. So, when we are in UK for two [and] a half months, before we go back to Saudi Arabia with my employers, I decided to [run away from my employers] because I don't know what will happened to me when I go back to Saudi.

3. What makes you PROUD to be a migrant?

I'm very proud of myself to be a migrant because through all of my nightmare experienced in Saudi Arabia for three years, [I] survived all the bad situations for the sake of my son's future and to help my family not to [struggle through] the poverty of life. Even though, I'm an undocumented domestic workers here in UK and still fighting for my rights as a domestic workers. I can say with [my head held high] that I'm a migrant domestic worker, and I can sacrificed everything for my son, my family and to myself to have a good future in whole life with the help and guide of our Almighty Creator, everything will be succeed.

4. Tell us about a migrant-focused organization whose work you love and why!

The Voice of Domestic Workers and I love this organization because through them I learned a lot about what we are fighting for as an undocumented domestic workers, and I found here a second family in United Kingdom who eager to help to each and everyone of us about our situation. They organized a class everything to make the members to have more knowledge.

In time of crisis due of pandemic, they helped with two hands to the members, who needs food, medicine and financial support and they organized again an online class during the lockdown like Body & Mind, ESOL, IT, Financial well-being and Mediacom to in-courage the members to participate so that their selves will be busy and they can't think of something else or not to depressed because of what happened to the whole world and through this online class ,we can shared our problems to someone and give an advices for the good of the members.

This feature is one of the entries to our #WeAreMigrants Contest - in celebration of International Migrants Day 2020.

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