The Sounddelivery Media Spokesperson Network has become the backbone of our charity’s work and supporting other charities and organisations to develop their own networks of leaders with direct experience of social injustice is key to our mission. That’s why we are excited to announce the relaunch of our collaboration with The Voices of Domestic Workers; Future Voices, developing their own network of confident and skilled migrant domestic workers as public spokespeople.
We first came across this charity through their founder Marissa Begonia in 2016 when she spoke at an event we organised sharing her experience of being a migrant domestic worker and putting the spotlight on the effects of government policy.
The Voice of Domestic Workers is an education and support group calling for justice and rights for Britain’s sixteen thousand migrant domestic workers. They provide educational and community activities for domestic workers – including English language lessons, drama and art classes, and employment advice, and provide support for domestic workers who exit from abusive employers. Their work seeks to end discrimination and protect migrant domestic workers living in the UK by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare and legal advice.
Speaking out about their work, sharing their stories and experiences is vital if we are to address the injustice many of their network are facing. Migrant Domestic Workers are one of the most vulnerable groups of workers. Removing their rights in 2012 has left them unprotected, powerless and in severe exploitative work condition. When their employers stopped them from working without notice and pay during the Covid-19 lockdown they couldn’t claim their unpaid wages, many were afraid to go to the hospital when infected by the virus. When parents and children were all at home during the lockdown, they worked up to 24 hours per day. They are essential workers. Domestic work is work, and they should be protected as workers.
Migrant domestic workers need to be part of the conversations that affect them, and have a seat around the table to influence change. This training programme aims to equip a new network of 12 Migrant Domestic Workers with the skills and confidence to share their experiences, have their expertise heard more widely and ultimately drive public awareness and policy change. Alongside this we will continue to offer training and support to participants who have already been through the programme.
Let us introduce you to the Future Voices and why they are joining the programme:
Ana Margaret Braga
“I want to show the world that I am a role model for the Voice of Domestic Workers, someone who fights for the rights of everyone and is acknowledged for our principles, mission, and vision.”
“I want to promote courage for people who suffer sexual assault. It can be easy for others to ignore it as it often happens without any witnesses. Yet, by speaking out we can understand that it’s NEVER the victim’s fault.”
Arlene Dela Rosa
“I am a new version of myself that strives to stay committed and to continue learning. I hope to be on the frontline of the campaigns of the Voice of Domestic Workers and be a confident spokesperson.”
“I want to expand my knowledge about the rights of domestic workers in the UK. Through Future Voices I want to explore how to improve my self-knowledge to become a confident and competent spokesperson.”
“My life matters regardless of my colour and race. I want to be able to raise awareness about racism and reinforce positive values, build trust and compassion, and reduce the injustices that Black people face.”
“My goals are to be confident in public speaking and to be social with other people. Whatever knowledge I learn in the Future Voices programme, I wish to share with my fellow domestic workers.”
“I want to tell my fellow domestic workers to stand up and fight for our rights and use their voices to speak to people and to the world that we are not slaves, we are not their family, but we are workers and have to be treated fairly.”
“I want to create social media content to help my fellow domestic workers so that they know their rights and for this to be a way for them to avoid abuse from their employers”
“I want to equip myself with skills so that I can raise my child better as her mother and a mentor. It is hard for me to share my story, but I look forward to helping others and becoming a confident public speaker
May Belen Untalan
“I would like to build my confidence in public speaking and be on the front-line of campaigns to help change the current poor working and living conditions of migrant domestic workers.”
“I want to build my confidence and skills to create relationships with the media so they better understand migrant domestic workers. The beauty of being in the VODW is that I can preserve my identity and culture while embracing others.”
“As part of Future Voices, I want to improve my knowledge about being a spokesperson and to improve my self-confidence to face people without fear and self-doubt.”
We really look forward to working closely with Marissa and the Future Voices network. We also want to say a huge thank you to the funders who’ve supported this programme; City Bridge Trust, PHF, and Trust for London.
Do follow the programme updates #VODWFutureVoices