Domestics make so many sacrifices

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 12:00am

I read with interest the article on Father Dwight Delatorre (South China Morning Post, October 25) and his work with the Mission for Filipino Migrant Workers.

He does well to remind us that charity begins at home. I live with one foot in the 'middle and upper classes' that can often afford two or more maids.

At smart dinner parties, I hear time and again petty or vicious comments against these women from women who are deciding what designer ball gown to wear at the next 'charity function'.

So many of these Filipina women leave their own children to the care of relatives so they can earn enough money to feed and educate their own much-loved children.

They spend years bringing up strangers' children, because they are denied the economic freedom to bring up their own. And yet, this sacrifice is so rarely recognised.

I am pleased that the Post has given prominence to some of the recent court cases where abusive employers have been charged and convicted.

As one sage remarked: the law can't change the hearts of man, but it can prevent some men from having their heart's desire.

Most employers do not use violence against their maids, but what about Father Delatorre's comments on the 'gross thoughtlessness' that devalues a fellow human being? This involves a change of heart and we can all manage that.


Tai Tam