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Bringing Hope and Courage: Luziviminda, domestic worker and organizer in Kuwait

by IDWFED published Jun 20, 2020 12:00 AM

 

My name is Luziviminda, and I am from the Philippines. I am 30 years old and a single mother of 3, currently working as Domestic Worker in the State of Kuwait. I am also the eldest daughter of a family of 8 children that currently live in a temporary refugee housing in Zamboanga City, Philippines.

I was forced to leave my country to support my 3 children and provide medication for my elderly mother. Unable to find a job at home because I do not hold a college degree, I decided to work as a domestic worker in Kuwait and have been doing so since 2014.

Adapting to life in Kuwait was hard; I had to adjust to a new and very different culture, language and lifestyle. I am thankful that I was lucky enough to get employed by a good family. I receive my monthly salary, have weekly rest days, have a decent place to stay, have my basic needs provided and in addition to that they are kind to me.

Through a friend and social media, I was introduced to Sandigan Kuwait Domestic Worker Association (SKDWA). There I learned about the struggle that a lot of my fellow domestic workers face and saw that many are not as fortunate as I am. Many domestic workers’ rights are violated not only as humans but specifically as women. This is why I decided to become a member of SKDWA in 2018 and why I attend training sessions and seminars with them. I want to be a counsellor for those who need one and a voice for them too. I want to bring hope and courage to my fellow workers by resisting violence and maltreatment. 

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic Kuwait went into lockdown. This had a negative effect on migrant workers as companies, shopping centres, offices, schools, entertainment facilities, stores, government buildings were all shut down. Some domestic workers lost their income since they are no longer working while others who live with their employers are facing difficult conditions such uncompensated over work and no rest day. Also, mask, gloves, sanitizers became very important but were not provided to all domestic workers.

In SKDWA I found a place to belong and understand my rights as a domestic worker. I believe that although each domestic worker cannot do much, collectively we can result in something bigger. Our purpose is to unite the workers to form one voice and movement because together we are stronger!