Note: I use the “yaya” term to loosely refer to yaya/domestic helper/kasambahay.
4 years and 14 yayas later, I’ve just about had it with them.
The latest statistic just asked to go out on a day-off today to send money to her kin. Hours later, I received a text message from her saying that she’s not coming back anymore. Huwatttt?! The nerve! I even made it clear that she has to come back the next day as I will be out. Ugh!!
“Di na po ako babalik, Ma’am.” Just like that. No rhyme, no reason. Zero warning, zero care.
With that many a number of failed yaya relationships, I’ve constantly wondered if there was something wrong with me.
As it turns out, it’s not just me. Countless others I’ve spoken with have shared the same yaya stories with some even recounting horrible experiences of theft and abuses to their children.
What has the yaya industry become? Finding good and trustworthy yayas have, in the recent years, become more of an exception than a rule. Is there a way around it? Is there a way to reverse it?
If finding good yayas is next to impossible, a way to create better yayas, perhaps?
Now imagine an organization, nay, a community, of employers and partner yayas, spearheaded by an employer-yaya tandem that creates just that, better yayas.
This community is not affiliated with the government nor does it intend to profit. It thrives on everyone’s contributions and aims to empower the yayas to become better individuals and in turn become better and happier domestic helpers. That’s what we all want after all, isn’t it?
Access to Trainings
Through this community, member yayas will have access to free trainings that can enhance their skills and well-being. On top of my head, I can think of a few that may prove valuable such as Savings 101, Soft Skills 101 (communication, hygiene, etiquette, etc.), Cooking 101, and Child Caring 101.
That one on savings might just be the answer to periodic loans (credits) and spell the difference between salary spent and salary saved. Or it could mean the yaya deciding not to run off with her paramour because that would mean a lost income for her. Or it could mean her not getting all arrogant just because her son has finally landed a temporary job and she could just get up and go. Can you sense all my frustrations?
A community with both employers and partner yayas involved is fertile ground for open dialogue between the two groups. There is now a channel to air out grievances and frustrations and at the same time a place to come up with sound solutions. With the leaders coming from both sectors, communication is now a two way street.
All this while, employers might actually be turning a deaf ear or a blind eye on the needs of the yayas. Do they not get enough food to eat and are just afraid to say it? Do they have personal requests and are not bold enough to be outright about it? If they just get up and leave, we as employers will never know about it, will we?
Assurance of Benefits
Being in this community ensures that yaya benefits as mandated by the law are duly provided. There may even be projects to help facilitate this such as helping the employers in securing the SSS for their employees.
Will You be a Part of it?
All this talk of a community is not set in stone however. No rules have been made, no meetings have been set.
If I become part of this Utopian community though, will you be a part of it too? Will you be a part of something that contributes to elevating another person’s well-being? Will you be willing to give your time and effort to something that empowers the powerless? Will you contribute to something that gives voice to the voiceless?
These powerless and voiceless persons are after all, a part of us. They live under our households, they take care of our children, they cook the food we eat, they clean the place we live. What’s a little help to them if it can benefit us as well?