The issue regarding residency and right of abode is one of the most hotly debated topics in the country for a long time now. This is especially important for foreign nationals who wish to work or reside in the country and enjoy the benefits that come along with it.
ALSO READ: High Court Bars Stay of Filipino Moms in HK
Recently, an issue regarding whether mothers with Hong Kong-born children may be allowed to stay in the country has made the news and unfortunately, the government’s decision did not favour familial ties which these people share as a basis to remain in the country.
NGO in HK Targets Overstayed Mothers for Training Opportunities
This being the case, migrant mothers who had overstayed in Hong Kong are being eyed to be trained by a Hong Kong-based NGO in livelihood skills when they return home with their babies to better reintegrate into the Philippine society, as shared in a report by The Sun.
The initiative was conceptualized when Pathfinders, a non-government organization, visited the Philippines and met with government agencies and other NGOs which could assist the overstaying Filipino migrant mothers in Hong Kong.
The organization provides help and support to pregnant migrant women, including current or former domestic workers in distress, and their Hong Kong-born children.
According to Carmen Lam, director of services, community education and outreach of PathFinders, their group needed more assistance as they witnessed a rising trend in migrant mothers who overstayed in Hong Kong and wanting to come back home.
Last year, there were 255 migrant mothers in Hong Kong. About 35 families, half of which are Filipinos and the other half Indonesians, returned home. Lam shared that those women faced different kinds of challenges, such as finding shelter for themselves and their children, how to rejoin their communities with their mixed-race children or children out of wedlock and their estranged husbands.
One of the board of directors of Pathfinders, Lara Fabregas, shared after meeting with local NGOs and government agencies during the trip that they have discovered that livelihood back home was among the key challenges for returnees.
The group explained that they will further look into possible livelihood programmes that would accommodate women with mixed-race children out of wedlock. They will also explore the possibilities of providing skills training for returning mothers on certain livelihood jobs, such as beauty care, massage, manicure and pedicure, hoping these self-employment skills could generate income for them and their children.
In line with this endeavour, Pathfinders shared that it will seek the help and build a tie-up with the Philippine Consulate.