OFWs – the Overseas Filipino Workers. Seen in their home country as modern-day heroes.
Soldiers in a battle against poverty. Wanting to win the war for their families.
There is no other way to put it.
And like heroes all over the world, many ultimately have to pay for the “honour” with their lives.
Sometimes words are nowhere near enough – so here, in moving images, is the story of two families whose daughters sacrificed everything for a fractured dream http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3nIuShFFYE
Every day some 3,000 more leave the to join the workforce abroad. Already there are some 10 million Filipinos away from home. It’s a nation exporting its best resource to stay afloat. Some so desperate to earn dollars that they are willing to take short-cuts to get placed in foreign jobs faster. They fork out more money than legally required to “speed through” the red tape that the government has put there for the workers’ protection … and end up in debt for much of their lives, or they fall prey to unscrupulous employment agents who dabble in nothing short of human trafficking.
Almost every week there is a new OFW horror story that hits the local news … nurses who are trapped into becoming domestic workers; domestics who end up in prostitution; tales of abuse and violence – physical, sexual, emotional; etc etc etc. The constant curtailment of their basic rights … and most feel powerless to do do anything about it. Thinking they have none in the first place … rights or power.
Thousands are considered “distressed” by the Philippine government and already in the last few months alone, millions have been spent to repatriate such classified OFWs … and there isn’t enough money to help them all, officials cry.
But still they keep going, convinced they have nothing left to believe in at home. That their only salvation lies beyond Philippine borders. That is the true heartache of the whole situation as the video here shows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bIpcTsb8SE
There are those who are calling for their modern-day heroes to come home … wanting them to place their bets in their own country, and gamble on a shared, brighter future instead of taking a chance abroad.
But for many OFWs, that would take too much work – and the needs of the family are more immediate. And so everyday the exodus continues – with 3,000 more risking it all for love.