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#WeAreMigrants Feature: Anne Suarez

Anne Suarez

United Kingdom

Housekeeper age group: 40 - 49 years old

1. How many years since you migrated, or since you became a migrant worker? What do you remember most about that first migration experience?

It’s been13 years since I started working abroad. The most unforgettable experience was when I arrived in Qatar February 14,2007,5am. The agency driver brought us to his place and there’s a tiny room at the back of his house. We’re 5 Filipinas. 5 other nationals were there already because they were returned by their employers and had not yet find another work place. There was no mattress or comforter to sleep on, just only old carpet. The toilet was so yucky and smelly from other shoes and socks they wore and still unwashed. There were no windows only a whole from the walls. He just gave us a pack of cobos bread and a pack of triangle cheese to share. We were not given clean water to drink. Some us drank only in the toilet faucet, even though I stayed there just for 3 hours, my eyes burst in tears because they treated us like animals. Our door was doubled locked outside.

2. The migrant workers in our TAYO community are people of strength and generosity. Tell us about a time this 2022 where you saw strength or generosity in yourself or in a fellow migrant worker.

I saw strength with myself when we have a financial problem last month, because my twin grand daughters were admitted to the hospital's nursery intensive care unit for 9 days.

Even though I was not yet ready to be come a grandma, when I saw them via video call, I couldn't help myself not to become emotional. Now they’re my inspirations and strength to fight my circumstances here.

Sometimes I need to be generous to myself to shop new clothes as my stress reliever and to my fellow domestic workers I just gave a simple presents 🎁 for their birthdays. Saying thanks it’s warmth my soul!

3. Our TAYO community believes in the multiple talents and skills of our members. Tell us about talent or skill that you have, that you’d like others to know more about.

When I was in Qatar for second time, my employer had a chocolate shop, And she told me that I need to try to bake some cookies and sweets, so she bought different kinds of cookies books and sweets to try on.

After several tries out, she chose 3 kinds of my cookies and displayed them in her shop. I needed to bake 10kg per day in Ramadan time because we have a lots of orders. And it’s manual work only, I just used my hand to mixed the ingredients because we didn't have a machine to help me. Also I made food decorations from fresh vegetables and sweets for her catering business. So through learning we acquired anything that we proud ourselves in the future!

4. For the family members and loved ones that are still in your home country, what is your message for them as we end 2022 and start the new year 2023?

For my loving family and love ones back home, especially for my children - I know it’s quiet difficult for you to be grown up with me by your side. I wasn’t there when you needed me most, in all celebrations, I wasn’t there when your feeling down to rub your back, to hug and comfort you, or checking your temperature when you’re sicked. But I’m still lucky to have you all because you understand my situations here, you grown up a better human being, not materialistic and always feet on the ground.

Children hopefully we meet again soon, I’m longing for your warmth embrace. It’s been 6 years already but I’m willing to sacrifice another six years just to help all of you finish the course that you’ve chosen.

Mama will always be here for you no matter what happens,, you all in my heart and mind always, Take care always,, Merry Christmas And Prosperous New year 2023

I always missing you and I love you all!!Godbless

This feature is one of the entries to our #WeAreMigrants Contest - in celebration of International Migrants Day 2022.

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*Minor edits have been made to this text to improve readability. These edits have not altered the intended meaning or message of the original author.

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