Category: Advocacies

Buhay Aupair – Radio Program

Year 2014, I’m not only a blogger but a radio personality,  which I think it suits me better because I like to talk and I talk a lot.  I started to host the Radio program called “BUHAY AUPAIR” meaning Au Pair’s Life.  Every week my co- host Emely Manus and I interview present and former au pairs about their life as aupairs and their adventures in their host country. The guest talks about their experiences like how they applied and the challenges of living with their host with different culture and language, how they learned to become independent and appreciate the freedom in European countries, and how to cope out with homesickness being away from their family and a lot more.  This a good way to reach out to the au pairs to learn from the guest experiences and of course I see to it to talk about the rules, rights nad obligations of the aupairs.  The language we use in the program is Filipino or tagalog .

Buhay Aupair is  aired every Sunday 12.00-13.00 CET (Central European Time) at www.pinoyradionordic.com and www.pinoyradiobenelux.com or you can download the apps in any Android devices.

This is made possible by the Philippine Channel Network (CPN) whose advocacy is to reach out to the Filipino migrants living in Europe.

buhay-aupair-poster-500px

Invitation to : A Glimpse of Filipino Culture! An afternoon of sharing Filipino Culture and Traditions

A Glimpse of Filipino Culture! An afternoon of sharing Filipino Culture and Traditions

Babaylan-Denmark is inviting Filipino Au Pairs, Host Families and Friends to an afternoon of sharing Filipino culture, values and traditions, “A Glimpse of Filipino Culture!

Through the years, Babaylan has been conducting Cross Cultural Orientations for Filipino Au Pairs to provide them with important information about their legal rights, and better understanding of the Danish Culture and Society.

“A Glimpse of Filipino Culture”, is, however, an event  that will focus more on the Host Families and Friends of Au Pairs.  This event will serve as an opportunity to introduce some of our Filipino traditions and values to host families, and help them understand and appreciate better the presence of an “additional” member of the family.

March 3: A Glimpse of Filipino CultureClick on photo to enlarge

A Glimpse of Filipino Culture!
An afternoon of sharing Filipino culture, values & traditions with Host Families, Au Pairs & Friends.

(Food, booth, songs, dances, games & cultural shows)
March 3, 2012
Kl. 12 – 17

Munkegårdsskolen
Vangedevej 178, 2820 Dyssegård, Gentofte

Please call or SMS to confirm participation.
Tel. no.+45 5034 8835  or email: babaylandk@babaylan.dk/>

The majority of Filipinas living in Denmark find their place in Danish society through the home: as wives/girlfriends, mothers, or au pairs. In building cross-cultural relationships, many questions arise. Some of these are:
• What is the Filipina attitude towards work and family?
• Why are holidays like Christmas so important?
• In what ways are Danes and Filipinas similar/different?
• Why are songs and dances so important for Filipinos?
• Why do working Filipinas send a good portion of their income home?

We will discuss these questions and many more about Filipino culture. The goal is to create opportunities for better understanding of each other’s culture in a fun and exciting way, to foster closer relations/partnerships between Filipinas and their host families

We encourage you to come and join us for a memorable afternoon. (Children are of course welcome.)

We hope to see you soon!

Greetings from
Babaylan Denmark

Et indblik I den Filippinske kultur

Så er muligheden der endelig for en hyggelig eftermiddag for au pairs og deres værts familier. Kom og deltag i en kulturel udveksling for at få en bedre forståelse for den Filippinske kultur.

Dette vil foregå via præsentationer, mulighed for at stille spørgsmål til et panel, mad, boder, sang, dans og andre aktiviteter.

Størstedelen af Filippinske kvinder i Danmark finder deres plads i samfundet som, koner/kærester, mødre eller au pairs. Når vi skal bygge broer imellem vores forskellige kulturer danner der sig ofte nogle spørgsmål. Nogle af disse kunne lyde:
• Hvordan er Filippinsk attitude i forhold til arbejde og familie?
• Hvorfor er helligdage så som jul så vigtige?
• På hvilke måder er Danskere og Filippinere ens/forskellige?
• Hvorfor er sang og dans så vigtig for Filippinere?
• Hvorfor sender arbejdende Filippinere en god portion af deres indkomst hjem til deres familier?
Dette og meget mere vil der være mulighed for at få et større indblik i. Formålet er at skabe en større forståelse for hinanden og gøre det på en sjov og spændende måde, for dermed at skabe tættere relationer/sammenarbejde imellem Filippinere og deres værtsfamilier.

International Women’s Day and Migrant Women’s Rights

International Women’s Day and Migrant Women’s Rights

by Filomenita Mongaya Høgsholm

History Entwined
If it were not for immigrant women, we might not be celebrating the 8th of March as International Women’s Day (IWD) today, where we honour and recognize women’s contributions, and also protect their rights. Although IWD has been observed since the early 1900’s when the world then, cataclysmic owing to industrial expansion and booming population growth, witnessed impassioned women campaigning for change. It made headlines when15 000 women, probably immigrant women among them, marched in 1908 through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

The Past….
At the 1910 International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin, working for the Social Democratic Party in her native Germany, tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day before more than 100 women from 17 countries, among them members of political parties and working women’s clubs, including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament. Zetkin’s suggestion was unanimously approved at the meeting.Thus was IWD celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March 1911 with more than one million women and men attending.
But less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City occurred, taking the lives of 146 garment workers, mostly Italian and Eastern European -Jewish- women immigrants. The tragedy underscored the dangerous working conditions of immigrant women workers in New York’s sweatshops. It was a turning point for women workers and hence became instrumental in changing American labour laws.
From then on, the meaning of the tragic event would later be incorporated into the empowerment thrust commemmorated on March 8th, now known as International Women’s Day, IWD, with special stress on women workers. That was exactly a century ago on March 8 this year in 2011..
The present…
A whole century of struggle for rights has certainly brought significant changes to women workers lives but in many parts of the world, women’s work continues to be undervalued, underpaid, or unremunerated and every single day in the calendar, women and girls in the Global South, following their dreams of a better life, leave home to find jobs to secure their future by moving to the developed world of the North/West. They migrate to continents and cultures so far from their own.

Feminisation of Migration
According to I.O.M (International Office for Migration)’s bi-annual World Migration Report in 2010, 3% of the world’s population or 214 million people were on the move, and 49% of these international migrants were women or girls, the portion of females reaching 51% in more developed regions. Constituting 50% or more of the migrant workers in Asia, Africa and Latin America are now women heads of households among these, who see it as their duty to go abroad and earn so as to support their families’ well being, eg. the education of their children. Yet there is no indication that guarantees exist so more women can migrate in safety and protection. On the contrary, the area of protection has been marginalised, women migrants are still subjected to multiple discrimination, and the incidence of irregularity and of trafficking is rising..
But even without this criminal twist to female migration, women workers still pay the social costs of migration since they suffer psychologically and emotionally from the separation from their children which take a toll on their health and quality of life.

Gendered Trends
According to the same report, the trend of female migration will continue owing to the demographic factor of an ageing population in the developed world requiring the extra hands of female immigrants to provide care. Yet employers, governments and society in receiving countries fail to value women’s work which is considered of low status. Care, esp, when it is expended within the domestic sphere is invisible. And not valued.
Additionally, women workers are denied their right to fair wages and humane working conditions. When they come into contact with the law, they are deprived of their right to due process, the right to be protected against inhuman and degrading treatment, the right to be heard and air grievances, including the right to complain without the threat of verbal abuse or withholding of salary. These are everyday happenings for migrant women in certain parts of the world.. aside, from these, they often have noaccess to counselling, legal and social services. More so than other workers, domestic workers including the new arrivlas, the au pairs found in iincreasing numbers in norther Europe, are vulnerable to deprivation oe abuse of their rights, and maybe be exposed to physical violence, including sexual harassment and rape.

Trafficking and smuggling for labour and the sex industry mainly involving women and children is a more lucrative business than the drug trade. With the financial crisis still unresolved, unscrupulous elements in this nexus of migration and criminality will ply their trade more vigorously to bring in their ill-gotten incomes.
MDGs and Migrant Women:“Empowering Women to End Poverty by 2015”
In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals or MDGs were set by the world’s leaders who agreed on a global cooperation to fight poverty by formulating 8 specific goals. Not one of the 8 however was on international migration, inspite of the role of remittances and diaspora communities as agents of change in home countries. Indeed, it is a crosscutting phenomenon, rather like gender equality which is one of the MDGs, ie./Goal 3.

Inspite there being one specific goal on gender equality, without progress towards the empowerment of women, including migrant women, none of the other goals will be achieved. Women disproportionately experience the burden of poverty as victims of discrimination, and yet they put their lives at risk every time they become pregnant because more often than not, they have no access to basic health services nor reproductive rights orientation, showing an interplay of several unfulfilled MDGs.
Last year’s UN MDG Summit in New York in September 2010 concluded with the adoption of a global action plan to achieve the eight anti-poverty goals by their 2015 target date and the announcement of major new commitments for women’s and children’s health and other initiatives against poverty, hunger and disease.

The UN Migrant Workers Convention and International Migrants Day
20 years has passed since the UN attempted in 1990 to enshrine migrant workers rights in a Convention adequately entitled the UN Convention for Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, UNMWC for short. It first entered into force in 2003 but already in 1997, Filipino migrants began to celebrate the 18th of December to commemorate international migrants solidarity day. And finally on Dec.4th 2000, it was decided by the UN that there ought to be an International Migrants Day to remind member states, intergovernmental actors as well as NGOs of their obligations to ratify the Convention as well as to disseminate information on the human rights of migrants, recognizing their contributions to the well being of host societies.

The UNMWC is the only Human Rights instrument that specifically addressesthe rights of migrants but unfortunately it is also the least ratified…Not one European or North American state has come forward to lead the way. There is a long way to go, in fact, it has almost not started .As of last count there were only 44 nations who have ratified the Convention, and all of them from the Global South. There are further some 15 signatories to the Convention, again none from the so-called developed nations.

The ILO Domestic Workers Convention

The ILO has a number of Conventions thru the 1980s and ’90s, all of them having to do with questions relevant to migrant workers but none seem to cater directly to women migrants. In 2011, a new Convention will likely be passed and this will be about domestic workers rights. Considering that domestic workers are predominantly women, and the demographic deficit will require more and more care from the Global South, and with a fast ageing population in the developed nations, such a Convention will secure aspects to this grey and unprotected labour area but will not necessarily address ALL migrant women’s rights.

The new convention was passed at the ILO’s June 2-18 2010 meeting in Geneva, attended by more than 2,500 delegates from member countries, trade unions and employer’s confederations. This new DWC provides for freedom of association, fair terms of employment and decent working and living conditions, easy access to dispute settlement procedures, regulation of employment agencies and protection of migrant domestic workers. This part will require hard bargaining since it is about substantive provisions to include protection from abuse, wage regulation, fair and decent conditions of work and social security for domestic workers — migrant, live-in and other categories of this extremely vast, unregulated and unprotected workforce. The ILO also called for state parties to hold consultations with stakeholders and provide comments on the proposed convention to set fair labour standards in domestic work.

This year 2011, it is expected,that we will see both international and domestic law on this important subject in place. The fact that the work site for domestic work is often the home of the employer, not a public place, is considered problematic because the right to privacy of employers is put forward as contradictory to the rights of the domestic worker supposedly in regulated employment. Also, the aforementioned rapid rise in crossborder trafficking calls for special protection for migrant domestic workers, many of whom cross international borders without proper documentation. The Convention must also address the important issue of reintegration and/or return after end of contract, a time when the women workers are particularly at risk. It is also established that domestic workers are especially vulnerable to sexual harassment and sexual assault, and often find it impossible to access the criminal justice system. Protection must be offered to domestic workers against sexual harassment, especially more relevant to certain areas in the world than others.
ILO in the Middle East
The ILO is also encouraging the drafting of labour legislation to provide foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in the Middle East with legal protection.Arab trade unions agreed on a statement of principles, including the right to decent wages and union representation for FDWs, after a workshop in Beirut, Lebanon, earlier in November 2010. The phenomenon [FDW] has taken off in recent years as family networks are taking on workers to help with social care, such as caring for elderly parents, people with disabilities and children.Only Jordan has comprehensive labour legislation covering FDWs in a region that employs 22 million domestics, a third of whom are women, mainly from Asian and African countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Ethiopia.

Domestic labour is used worldwide but is especially widespread in the Middle East and where according to Human Rights Watch (April 2010), FDWs face a wide range of abuses and poor working conditions, such as needing permission to leave the house, a lack of leave days, having their passports taken away and, in some cases, physical and emotional abuse. The report also noted that access to justice was limited. Experts say the recruitment system – kafala – in which an employing family sponsors the domestic worker, is the first issue to tackle. Also advocacy for the rights of domestic workers is weak and language is a barrier.

The ILO is also working with governments on other initiatives, including awareness literature, hotlines for FDWs, communal housing that would offer domestic workers an alternative to living in the employer’s home, and government bodies rather than private agencies to manage recruitment.
Governments, trade unions, and other civil society organizations in both the countries of origin and destination need to be more engaged. Private employment agencies are making a profit out of workers who are coming to the region to take care of the social care needs of households here. These needs should be a part of social policies and programmes of the countries’ governments, rather than being left to private households.

Conventions aimed specifically at Women
We work with women before they depart to train them in their rights as workers, employment responsibilities and basic information about contracts. We work with women once they arrive in the country to ensure they have safe housing, legitimate contracts and workplace rights. We also work with women who are returning to their families after periods away and supporting them to re-enter their family life. (UNIFEM)

CEDAW, Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
CEDAW is an international treaty that can also be invoked to address women migrants’ issues. With 178 ratifications by countries of origin, transit and destination, CEDAW is one of the most widely ratified of conventions, ranking second only to the Convention on the rights of the Child
This Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 1979, and is one of the most comprehensive international human rights treaties for the promotion of women’s rights. It looks at women’s civil rights, their legal status, reproductive rights, but also cultural factors influencing women’s position in society and the enjoyment of their rights.

At some point, the UN Cedaw Committee, affirming that migrant women, like all women, should not be discriminated against in any sphere of their life, decided to issue a General Recommendation on some categories of women migrant workers in these words:

Recognizing that migrant women may be classified into various categories and that these categories remain fluid and overlapping, the scope of the general recommendation is limited to addressing the situations of migrant women who, as workers, are in low-paid jobs, may be at high risk of abuse and discrimination and who may never acquire eligibility for permanent stay or citizenship, unlike professional migrant workers in the country of employment. These categories of migrant women are: (a) women migrant workers who migrate independently; (b) women migrant workers who join their spouses or other members of their families who are also workers; and undocumented women migrant workers who may fall into any of the above categories.

The General Recommendation 27, also known as GR 27, issued at its 32nd Session in January 2005 aims to elaborate the circumstances that contribute to the specific vulnerability of many women migrant workers and their experiences of sex- and gender-based discrimination as a cause and consequence of the violations of their human rights.
The full text is available at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/comments.htm..

CEDAW: the view from Europe
Together with a couple of other related organizations,UNIFEM organised a Roundtable on the CEDAW and Migrant Women during its 30th anniversary in Geneva in November 2009, two migrant women were invited from Europe (one from WIDE/KULU/Babaylan and another from the European Netowrk of Migrant Women) to share their experience from the ground regarding human rights challenges for women migrant workers in Europe and the forms of multiple discrimination they are facing.
Bilateral agreements between countries to protect migrant workers are generally lacking, and that many migrant women do not have papers or contracts, as a result of trafficking or their illegal status, and therefore have no place to go for protection, nor for services such as health care.

Migrant women in Europe also often lack access to social benefits (e.g. pensions), and might therefore face poverty at old age. A further complication is that many migrant women that do domestic work are not protected, for example regarding domestic violence, as the ‘home’ by law is not seen as an official workplace, but as a private area.

One of the difficulties to protect migrant workers arises from the fact that the women leave on their own initiative and do not go through official organizations or networks, nor do they seek advice with State institutions. This makes it very difficult for States to provide these migrant workers with support.
Other issues raised during the discussion ranged from good practice examples in training and education of migrant workers, which nowadays is primarily a task taken up by civil society and which many said should also become the responsibility of States, so is protection of families, domestic migration and national streamlining of migration policy among various ministries.

Concluding words
IWD is a global celebration to focus on the economic, political and social achievements of all women without regard for differences among them. Maybe with the newly established United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women — or UN Women — now fully functioning, the UN can help member states to “accelerate progress towards their goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women.” And put power and meaning into the celebration of International Women’s Day hopefully for generations to come.


International Women’s Day Centenary sees largest ever activity


International Women’s Day Centenary sees largest ever activity

London, March 2, 2011: March 8 sees the highest level of global women’s activity ever witnessed as groups celebrate the International Women’s Day centenary.

The first International Women’s Day events were run in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland in 1911 and attended by over one million people. 100 years on, International Women’s Day (IWD) has become a global mainstream phenomena celebrated across many countries and is an official holiday in approximately 25 countries including Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zambia.

8 March sees extensive global women’s activity. Performer and social activist, Annie Lennox, will lead a mass march across London’s Millennium Bridge for charity. In Washington D.C. over a thousand people will descend on Capitol Hill demanding a better world for millions of marginalized women and girls around the globe. A major international businesswomen’s conference will be hosted in Sydney, Australia. Schools and governments around the world are participating in the day. Trade Unions and charities are campaigning. Global corporations are hosting conferences and distributing extensive resource packs. The United Nations Secretary-General delivers a formal message. The United States even designates the whole month of March as Women’s History Month as officially proclaimed by President Obama on February 28, 2011.

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future. However, activity has not always been on the increase. Australian entrepreneur and women’s campaigner Glenda Stone, who founded the www.internationalwomensday.com website, a global hub of events and information, said:
“A decade ago International Women’s Day was disappearing. Activity in Europe, where International Women’s Day actually began, was very low. Providing a global online platform helped sustain and accelerate momentum for this important day. Holding only a handful of events ten years ago, the United Kingdom has now become the global leader for International Women’s Day activity, followed sharply by Canada, United States and Australia. 2011 will see thousands of events globally for the first time.”

More recently, social networking websites like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube have also helped fuel International Women’s Day activity. Generally the day has moved away from its socialist Suffragette beginnings to become more mainstream in celebrating women’s achievements. Women’s rights campaigners, however, continue to remind that vigilance rather than complacency is essential in striving for women’s equality.

Source: www.internationalwomensday.com

Filipina Artist at the Biggest Art Exhibition in the city of Copenhagen and Malmø-

Youth Vårsalong is Denmark’s largest art exhibition for young people. The Copenhagen City is agin hosting the exhibit and this year’s theme is titled “What I dream about”. Well, it’s interesting to see the young artist visualize their dream into various art expression modes like photographs, films, sculptures, and many many more.

Come and see the dreams of the young artists whose 220 art works were selected by a professional panel of judges among the hundreds of submitted works. The art exhibit will be opened by the Child and Youth Mayor Anne Vang.

We, are proud to announce that the Babaylan Denmark’s illustrator and cartoonist is chosen for two consecutive years to be part of this big exhibit form April 29 to 8th of May 2010 in Copenhagen City Hall and subseqently in the city hall of City Hall of Malmø in Sweden

Prior to the exhibition, a private viewing on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 17.00-19.00 hr will be held for the artists together with their parents, families and friends.

Among the 200 young artists from around, Copenhagen, Århus, Odense, Esbjerg, Aalborg & Malmø, Muir was lucky to get her chance again to participate in the yearly exhibition.

The artist impression of herself

Muir Jover is the daughter of the current Babaylan Denmark’s Chairperson, Judy Jover.

For more information, please visit http://www.ungdomsskolen.kk.dk

Young Pinoys join YouTube contest in response to Ondoy devastation

After seeing the devastation of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng that hit the country, two young Pinoys are appealing to the viewers to think about the effects of climate change by joining a user generated video campaign called “Raise Your Voice”.

Paul Darwynn Garilao and Alfonso Orioste, Jr., graduates of De La Salle University – Manila, are expecting to participate with the global leaders, who will convene to discuss climate change in Copenhagen in Denmark from December 7 to 21, 2009.

Dubbed as the biggest convention after Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations Climate Change Conference will iron out platforms to “reduce global warming emissions and ultimately chart a course that avoids the most severe impacts of climate change.”

Raise Your Voice” campaign is sponsored by CNN, Youtube, and Danish government. The contest encourages individuals to send videos with their views, opinions, and questions about the global event.

The two best video campaigns will win through public voting from November 6 to 30,2009.

Here are steps to vote:

  1. Visit www.youtube.com/cop15

  2. Click Vote.

  3. Search Philippines on the videos per country.

  4. Kindly click the “green thumbs up” sign for the entry entitled: “Raise Your Voice by Filipino environmental advocates.”

The video can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8RanL2KMyo

As of this writing, this is only the single entry from the Philippines and South East Asia.

We are massively campaigning for our video through social networking sites. Based on our initial count, more than 300 users linked the video to their personal Facebook accounts. We also blasted e-mail to more than 8,000 people to ensure they get our message,” Garilao said.

For the offline approach, we tapped schools and environmental organizations to use the video as a campaign drive to fight climate change. In fact, De La Salle University-Manila where we came from is all out support for the video,” Garilao added.

Their video entry was featured by YouTube together with other four contenders from Germany, France, India, and Italy. Click the URL here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gD7Wof3Eng0.

In the video entry, the young guys discuss disaster management system and major shift to use alternative energies.

Based on viewpoints from a developed and developing nation, they highlight action plans to reduce carbon emissions by industries and implement preventive measures when natural disasters strike. Garilao and Orioste also discussed that simple steps like conserving water and turning off devices when not in use will help

The participants are passionate about environmental concerns. Garilao, who worked in public relations firm in Manila, is now based in Hawaii. A licensed engineer in Manila, his research on Liquefied Petroleum Gas two stroke engines is focused on alternative energies.

Graduated honorable mention in La Salle, Orioste is now taking his law in San Beda College. Orioste said, “As we have experienced the storms Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng taught us a lot of lessons. This is a wakeup call for the Philippine government to implement laws and programs on environmental management and disaster preparedness.”

Garilao added, “We ask our global leaders to reach out to developing countries like the Philippines in helping us craft an effective communications program to respond to disasters. The two storms that hit our country is a wakeup call for Philippine government and the society. For most of our fellow citizens, it is a traumatic experience so they are expecting the government and communities are alert of the super typhoons that may hit the country in the future.”

If they able to generate a significant number of votes, the Filipino advocates would represent the Philippines and raise environmental concerns with the leaders during the convention. This may also be aired on CNN/Youtube Debates on December 15.

If we are given the chance to go to Copenhagen, we will return our key learning points to communities and government officials in the Philippines,” Garilao said to encourage everyone to translate their voices into actions against climate change.

I support these young guys effort. Stop complaining and blaiming each other voice out our grievances in proper venue and create awareness. I want to see them in Copenhagen let’s Vote for them.

World Kindness Day

Today I’m going to participate in the celebration of World’s Kindness Day which is organized by Mari-Lynn Harris in Bloggers Unite.org by blogging about the kindness I received through the years.

kind blogger

For those who know me they often ask me why I do voluntary work by being active in my organization, the Babaylan Denmark – The Philippine Women’s Network which is part of the Europe Wide Network of Filipinas. We empowered women not by giving them financial help but by conducting Orientations especially for aupairs who are misused by their host families, or by the selfish au pair agencies/agents or by  being drowned by the cultural madness or cultural shock in their host country. Most of the times we or I through the sites I authored get  queries almost about everything regarding Filipinas in trouble. I devote 30 % of my time to voluntary work which I’m glad my husband understand and support.

But you can not please everyone not even your own countrymen because we are always criticized which sometimes my relatives and friends always ask why I do it when I don’t earn anything from it. Our chairperson J.J. was  once questioned what are her motives in helping girls in troubles and how many people she know in our community and she was really hurt. This was an incident where we help a Filipina who we help when she filed a complain against her agent’s husband who allegedly tried to raped her but we did not forced her we just accompanied and supported her.  But I told her Quantity doesn’t matter but the QUALITY and the INTENTION to help is important. We really get a lot of criticisms with regard to women’s standing up and fighting for their rights and we stand up to principles no matter what kind of social status aupairs, house helps, mail order bride, expats etc. these womens are we still help them and I’m glad to be part of these strong Filipinas.

Personally I experienced kindness a lot of times in my lifetime so I want to pass it on to others who needs it. In my  voluntary work you meet a lot of people who needed help in any way but what I always tell them I don’t expect anything in return because most of the time they forget about it when they attained their goals but they should give it back or pass it on by showing kindness to others who might need it.

I think 1993 is the year that I can’t forget when our apartment was burned down by fire in Manila and we don’t have any  clothes to wear and a place to stay my neighbor let us stay in their apartment while  the other neighbors they gave us clothes. Another one who is a member of religious mission conducted fund raising and gave a enough amount of money to buy necessary appliances we that needed. My employee at that time gave me 10,000 Philippine pesos. These are kindness we received without asking for it. So we did not bother to ask our   relatives for help anymore and they don’t know how serious it was losing your home although it was only a rented apartment but the things we owned, the first appliances I bought and  the most important of all the  memories which includes our pictures and memorabilia were  gone.

When I met my husband the year of 2002 and decided to marry him, Denmark at that was time  was about to imposed a new law for family reunification, a stricter than the present one so we encountered a lot of problem with my staying permit. Then a man from Marriage without border (a Union for Danish married with a foreigner) told us where we can marry with very short waiting period and later he also was present in our wedding and be there to support us. Marriage or any wedding at all should be a beginning of a happy union but  it wasn’t for us, doubts, nervousness was overwhelming because what if they will send me out from the country, what will happen to us? is the question that popped on our head that time. Then all of a sudden a man a lawyer called Wilkins who was also married to a foreigner helped us to sign the application form and I tell you it was thick and with all kind of weird questions. He then photocopied my passport and he himself went to the Immigration Office and submitted it while we waited for him at the Central station with my passport for 4 hours and went straight to Malmö City in Sweden (only 30 mins train ride from CPH) and met the Mayor who welcomed us and told us that in Malmo they welcomes EU/Scandinavian Citizen with foreign partners to live there. So we were relieved to hear that we have a back up plan if ever I can’t get the approval from the Danish immigration but I did so here I am blogging about my life in Denmark. And that man Wilkins did not ask us for any fees but just imagine arguing and waiting for 4 hours out there in the immigration office, he was an angel sent down from heavens.

There’s still a lot that I can’t remember everything but I belive that if you give something good you get back in any other way. The law of karma. So whenever I help by just giving advice, offering our home, giving a decent meal, taking time to accompany to the hospital, in the social service, in the free legal assistance office, to the police, or just an instrument by finding ways where they can get are my way of giving back all the kindness I received from people I didn’t know and who did not ask something in return.

So I can say that kindness can make an impact to an individual. In this time of financial crisis and the recent floodings brought by the typhoons in the Philippines, kindness still prevails in the hearts of mankind no matter what the nationalities but their desire to help is there.

Thank you for the people who showed kindness to me and my family I will pass it on to my child and the people whom I meet. In my biology class I can remember that we are homo sapiens a higher level of animals but I can say that kindness is what separate us from the other animal species because we have a heart that knows no boundaries.

Happy KINDness day.

World Habitat’s Day 2009

Today is the 1st Monday of October month is the World’ Habitat Day which was designated by United Nation to be celebrated every year.

According to the United Nations, more than 100 million people in the world today are homeless. Millions more face a severe housing problem living without adequate sanitation, with irregular or no electricity supply and without adequate security.
logo wordhabitattheme09
And this year’s theme is Planning our Urban Future which I think is very timely. I will focus about the Philippines and the urban problems and where I lived in the metropolis Manila or Metro Manila.
As of January 2009 the population is estimated as of July 2008 is 96.2 millions. I spent 17 years of my life in the Metro Manila which is composed of 16 cities and 1 municipality. There a 11 million people living in the metropolis and it is one of the megacities in world.

The government estimates that between 2005 and 2010, the country needs some 3.8 million new homes, with demand concentrated in Southern Tagalog, Metro Manila, and Central Luzon. In Metro Manila, more than 126,000 families live in the slums, particularly on low-lying floodplains, precarious slopes, exposed riverbanks and within highly toxic zones close to highways and railroads, along waterways, near transmission lines, as well as at airports, dumps, markets and other areas that are unfit for settlement.

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Floods brought by Typhoon Ketsana in Metro Manila

But as of today the number of skyrocketed because of the recent typhoons that hit the Philippines just in a matter of a week 2 typhoons left thousand homeless and damage livelihood and claimed hundreds of  lives. Just the recent typhoon Ketsana locally know as Ondoy which according to the latest update by NDCC (National Disaster Coordinating council) left 288 dead and some still missing, 797, 404 families were affected. Just in Metro Manila alone there are 145,776 families who were affected and probably lost their homes.  The Habitat for Humanity Philippines is not only building home for the homeless but they actively helping the typhoon victims in Metro Manila where they actively working with Philippine Red Cross in addressing sanitation facilities in the evacuation areas.

I personally like the idea of Habitat for Humanity because as a Filipino where we helping each other is deeply rooted in our culture which we call it it “Bayanihan” or as google translated it to collaboration. Why will I support the habitat because they don’t provide free housing but provide pride and dignity to marginalized sector of the society who can’t afford any decent shelters. By making them a partner they will do the labor by building their own home and other homes of the community thus reducing the cost of the construction.But I think the most important part it they will be taught to be socially responsible that is becoming a part of the community and by paying their mortgages regularly becoming financially responsible thus providing their family with children with comfortable and better future.But in order for them to help break the poverty cycle we need to support and donate to the Habitat for Humanity.

What can we do to World Habitat Day?

ADVOCATE- EDUCATE-DONATE

Advocate– We can actively involve in asking or lobbying to the politicians in your area to prioritize Housing bills. Pass the legislation that would prioritize adequate and affordable housing.
EDUCATE your community with Habitat for Humanity’s World Habitat Day handbook to learn more about the importance of secure tenure and neighborhood revitalization.  Get even more information about the issue of insecure tenure by reading Habitat’s Shelter Report: building a secure future through effective land policies.

Brainstorm ways to get more people involved. Learn from the successes of last year’s campaign, and come up with brand-new ways to celebrate and publicize the important work of Habitat for Link to Habitat for Humanity’s World Habitat Day 2009 resources page on your social media pages, personal web site or blog to spread the word and raise awareness.

DONATE
to be a part of making the world a better place and support Habitat’s efforts. Donate online today!

International Day of Peace 2009- Starts with finding the inner peace within one’s self

257Sept. 21 every year marks the International Day of Peace which was officially declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2002. It is a global campaign which different organizations joins in whatever way; it can be through meditation, prayer,lighting a candle or by blogging which I wasn’t able to do that day. But last night when I heard the news that President Obama chaired UN security council summit unanimously approved the passing of the resolution that envisaged a world without nuclear weapon, I have to post about it. He said it may happen in our lifetime but we can rally or pray that our present leaders will do the right thing.

In my motherland, the Philippines I also heard few days ago that there was a fight between the military and the Abu Sayaff group where there were a lot of casualties but when will the conflict will end?. There are always conflict everywhere even here in the little kingdom of Denmark once in while we are shaken by the conflict of the gangs,between the local gang and the gangs of the 2nd generation foreigners and the nationalist hate of the foreigners. There are also the conflicts of some of the Filipino organizations who doesn’t know the real meaning of community service and families who cannot agree with each other.
We can not heal the world but for me let us first look inside our selves and start with finding our inner peace then we will later be at peace with our family and love ones then to the world outside our homes.

I only believe and live from what I learned from my theology class that is  is “To love God and your neighbor”. We should accept and respect the diversity of human beings. But it is easier said than done but for me I will say a little prayer that God bless us and give us the the wisdom to respect each other.

Learn more about the International Peace at their website.

Visit also BloggersUnite for other events or much better join and post an event you cared about.

Peace to all!!!

Break the Silence-Watch the Cracked Mirrors Theater tour in Denmark

I just found out about Stairway Foundation in the Philippines,  their project for marginalized children in the Philippines and their campaign against sex trafficking is remarkable. Visit their website and learn about their project and learn how the sexually abused children’s pain and sufferings through their trilogy cartoon film which is available in DVD and though the theater which  right now in Denmark and at the same time promoting the third part of the trilogy the Red Leaves Falling. break-the-silence-english7-300x277

Child sexual abuse and exploitation is determined by and is a result of demand for sex with children and access to pornographic images of children on the Internet. A significant portion of the demand lies within the Western world. After a successful premiere held last June 2 in Manila, Red Leaves Falling, Stairway’s third animated film about child pornography and child sex trafficking, will make its European debut alongside ”Cracked Mirrors,” a long-running theatre piece that portrays the deep pain and suffering children and young people go through as a result of sexual abuse and sexual exploitataition.

In collaboration with Roedkilde Gymnasium, Stairway Danmark, Kildenothilfe and private sponsors, the Break the Silence Campaign will feature in Denmark, Germany and Belgium. Danish International Development Assistance (Danida) is the main sponsor of the tour.

Cracked Mirror is a monolugue of sexually abused children. It portrays the pain and sufferings of the victims and the effects in their very young lives.

Cracked mirror is a project of Stairway Foundation which is based in the Philippines and was founded by Lars Jorgensen and American Monica Ray. The play is directed by Monica Ray.

Here are the place where you can watched them:

* 12 Sept. Gymnastics School llerup.
Svendborgvej 3, Ollerup, kl. 19:00. Tickets at the entrance. Entrance is free, but the audience will be invited to donate a sum to Stairway.

* 14 Sept. Entre Scenen, Aarhus.
Grønnegade 93 pm. 20:00. Ticket price: £ 110/50/55 Tickets and more info on <a href=”http://www.entrescenen.dk”>www.entrescenen.dk</a>

* 16 Sept. Hørdum Culture Village, Thy
Tårnvej 45, Hørdum pm. 19.30. Tickets at the entrance.

* 17 Sept. Transformer, Aalborg Theater.
Jernbanegade 11 pm. 21:00. Ticket price: 50 kr Tickets and more info on <a href=”http://www.transformatorweb.dk”>www.transformatorweb.dk</a>

* 15 and 18 Sept. Rødkilde Gymnasium, Vejle.
Two public imagined tests in high school, Rødkildevej 42 pm. 19:00. Tickets á 25 kr at the entrance.

* 20 Sept. PH-café in Copenhagen
Specific arrangement of Stairways members and friends, but open to all.
Brunch-at conception. 11:00 – starting at the very idea. 12:00. Tickets at the entrance.
Price DKK 50 incl. brunch but without drinks.

* 22 Sept: “Basement” / Vesterbro Cultural Center, Copenhagen V.
Enghavevej 4 pm. 19.30. Tickets at the entrance or order on 70 222 950.

The tour also includes a series of ‘closed’ performances at the International College in Elsinore, Child &amp; Youth Network in Copenhagen, UUC / Pædagoguddannelsen Hartmannsvej in Hellerup, shipping company J. Lauritzen A / S in Copenhagen and VIA University College / Peter Sabroe Seminary in Aarhus.

Program for the show

* Introduction Project v. Lars Jorgensen, Stairway Foundation Inc.
* Red Leaves Falling. Stairways new animation appears for the first time in Denmark.
Short pause.
* Cracked Mirrors. Monologues about sexual abuse of children.

* Discussion with actors and promoters of Stairway.
Read more about the campaign tour in Denmark is a part of the www.breaking-silence.org