A Filipino Domestic Helpers Life Outside Work for Hong Kong
This story was written by Avery Tsui, Li Sunpin, Vivienne Tsang, Minnie Wong and Achlys Xi and initially announced on Varsity, a magazine run by students of the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The amount of foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong has been firmly climbing, reaching 340,380 last year, a 24 percent rise compared with five years ago. Although they are a part of the lives of various working families in Hong Kong, many people still define domestic workers as poor and uneducated. When they are in the news, it is usually in negative context – either it is about them cheating or thieving from their employers and abusing their wards, or it is about their employers abusing them.
However, domestic helpers aren’t any diverse than anyone else. They have friends and families and enjoy a vibrant social life on their days off.
Like Michelle Saluta, 37, arrived in Hong Kong a year ago. She began a dance society and practices with her team every Sunday.
She’s been dancing for more than ten years, starting when she was at university in the Philippines. She believes dancing can give a release from work pressure and help her bond with her friends.